NEWS BLOG (WSAU) Four days later, it’s very hard to find good news within the awful Oak Creek shooting. I offer you this: police Lt. Brain Murphy, who took eight bullets while trying to bring the carnage to a stop, has turned a corner. If you heard the 9-1-1 recording and the frantic call “officer down” – that was him. Yesterday he was sitting up in his hospital bed. For a short time, he was on his feet. He’s going to make it.
Fellow officer Sam Lenda returned fire. Gunman Wade Michael Page was wounded in the exchange. Today for the first time the FBI confirmed that Page took his own life after being hit.
Murphy is 51-years-old. He worked in a suburban police department where an officer could reasonably expect to go through an entire career in law enforcement without ever having to fire a shot in the line of duty. I am in awe of people who have skills and training that they may never use, yet perform flawlessly when the call comes. Friends and fellow officers say Murphy won’t call himself a hero – at least he didn’t when he helped rescue a child during an Amber Alert a few years ago. We know better; we know heroism when we see it.
Murphy is not some backwater man with a badge in a tidy bedroom community. He grew up in New York City. You’d hear it the moment he spoke. It was the city streets that heightened his instincts to the never-far-removed dangers of his job. That – and his service to his country in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is an original member of the Oak Creek Police Department’s emergency response unit , which trained for this type of situation.
There will be more surgeries for Murphy. He was hit in the arm, hand, and shoulder, and doctors are still working to minimize the damage.
Believe what you wish about whether God is present amid times of great evil and sadness. Perhaps it is the invisible hand ofProvidencethat that put Lt. Brian Murphy in that place at that time.