Lt. Brian Murphy – the Wisconsin Sikh Temple Shooting

Lt. Brian Murphy was the first police officer to respond to the events at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin on August 5, 2012. Lt. Murphy was shot 15 times – twice in the head – but fought on.

I’ve been told that if I ever had a chance to hear him speak I should listen. Well, ProArms Podcast Episode 103 features Lt. Murphy telling his story.

It’s a riveting listen.

A few things I took from it:

  1. There are evil people in this world. Monsters. I already know this, but still people go through this world in denial, and refuse to take steps to be prepared for it. All these people were doing was going to church, and for some reason that we’ll never know, this malevolent monster killed them.
  2. As I’m fond of saying, “when you’re dead, you’re dead; until then, keep fighting”. Lt. Murphy was shot 15 times – just hearing about the first shot that hit him in the head? How he didn’t die from that, how he didn’t have a psychological stop from that? He wasn’t going to quit. He wasn’t dead, so he kept fighting. Mindset. Determination. Have it.
  3. Fighting back matters. In fact, it’s the best thing you can do. Could you die? Perhaps. But then at least you’ve got a chance to live, or help others live. Around 35:00 in the podcast, Lt. Murphy tells of Satwant Singh Kaleka (President of the Gurdwara) who pleaded with the murderer, was shot, but as he was not yet dead drew his kirpan (a small ceremonial knife, not sharp), and started stabbing the monster in the leg. Then he dropped the kirpan and wrapped his hands around the monster’s leg, trying to prevent him from moving. Kaleka fought until he died. And from what Lt. Murphy later tells, Kaleka’s fighting bought time; it delayed this monster from inflicting more evil. It gave the responders more time, and it certainly saved lives (listen to the podcast, you’ll see what I mean).
  4. Time matters. Help may come, but that’s just it – it might come, and if it does come, it’s going to take time for it to get there. Meanwhile, evil continues to rampage. What could have been done to make better use of time? And yes I’ll go there: what if the Sikh were armed? Would the monster have gotten so far? When the monster was visiting the temple performing reconnaissance, if it was evident they were armed would any of this have happened?

About a year ago, Greg Ellifritz attended a different presentation from Lt. Murphy. The ProArms Podcast recording was from an event by the body armor company, so it tells of the story plus the benefits of the body armor (it’s a wee bit of a long commercial). It seems the presentation Ellifritz attended had a different approach, like it was a presentation for police officers. Read Greg’s assessment, including some critical but justified commentary from Greg.

Plain and simple. The world is overwhelming full of good people. But evil does lurk amongst us, and it doesn’t care about you, it doesn’t prescribe to your standards, morals, and ethics. However you choose to face that evil, be accepting of what your choices will bring.