Oak Creek Police Lieutenant Brian Murphy was the first officer to arrive at the scene of the Sikh temple shooting in August. The former Marine was hit multiple times by a gunman armed with an semi-automatic handgun but survived the attack and is recovering at his home in Wisconsin.
His story of that day as related in Esquire is gripping and nothing short of amazing.
He shot, and hit my left thumb. Here's the crazy part: I'm thinking, Man, that's gonna leave a mark. He shot some more. I went down. I couldn't tell you if that shot knocked the gun out of my hand or didn't. Probably did. He came around. At that point I'm faceup. He shoots, starts hitting me. Once in my thigh, in my upper arm. And I'm thinking, Better get small.I'm real sensitive to one-sided criticism of police officers and this kind of story is one of the reasons why. Sure, they take the job knowing full well what they may face and some of them make some pretty stupid and egregious mistakes along the way. But stories like Lt. Murphy's are overlooked and passed over by far, far too many people who are only there to criticize and mock.
If you look back at my grade-school pictures, I was always a front-of-the-line kid. I was always small. So I learned that you have to be able to take a beating and still come back, because if you give up, you're just gonna get picked on. That was part of surviving in Brooklyn. When the big guys gave you charley horses, if you started crying, they'd just give you more.
So I flipped over, started low-crawling. I had my vest on. If I tucked my head, stayed small, maybe he just hits the vest. He does, hits me right in the back. At that point, I'm probably hit half a dozen times. It got very quiet. It got nice and warm. Cozy. I started closing my eyes for a second. I thought, This is going out....
And then I thought, Fuck you.I'm not going out in a parking lot. I'm not going out like this. I'm not gonna let my wife down. I'm not gonna let my daughter down, and I'm not letting my stepkids down.
I think they're worth mentioning.