Sikh Temple Shooting

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Lieutenant Brian Murphy was the first officer to arrive at the Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin last summer:

There’s a very long driveway that goes in off the main avenue to the temple. My thought was Shut off your lights and siren just before you get there. Pull in quiet. Park sideways, give yourself some cover just in case. We have AR-15′s in the squad car. But there was a malfunction with the switch that releases the AR-15. That’s Murphy’s Law. If I’d had that semiautomatic rifle…

Anyway, when I pull up, I see two guys lying on the ground. There’s a ballistic shield in the back of the car. I should’ve grabbed the shield. But I wasn’t thinking that way. When I came upon the men, I went straight to them to see if I could save them. I got within ten feet. Two male subjects, one lying on top of the other. Top subject, his eyes were open. They were fixed. Both guys looked deceased to me. At that point, I thought, I’m gonna try to get that AR-15 out of the car.

As I started, I caught a movement out of the side of my eye. A guy was running in front of the temple. He wasn’t Indian. He wasn’t Sikh. He had no headgear. He was a white male, wearing a white shirt. He was all inked up, and he had a holster on his right side. I knew that was the guy. No question. He’s running to his truck, which is in the parking lot. I already had my gun out. I raised up, yelled at him to stop. His hand came up. We probably shot at the same time. The distance was thirty to forty yards. I missed. He hit me right in the chin. It felt like a hell of a punch to the face and it ripped up my larynx.

After that first shot, goddammit, I put my head down for an instant and lost him. I got behind the car and ducked down. I turned to where I thought he was gonna come from, went to attack him, but he flanked me. I shouldn’t have let that happen. I kick myself in the ass for letting that happen. I heard more shots. They were getting closer, but they were echoey, and it was hard to tell exactly where they were coming from. I stopped for a second, looked back to where I thought he was. But he was behind me.

The gunman shot Murphy in the chin with a pistol from 30 to 40 yards away? Yeesh.

(Hat tip to Greg Ellifritz.)

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