Oak Creek Police Lt. Brian Murphy, shot 12 times at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin on August 5, shares his experience from that day in an interview with WISN 12 News.
Murphy received a total of 12 shots to his body and another three to his bulletproof vest. He credits his miraculous escape to divine intervention, as six worshipers were killed in the temple, and he was the first to respond to the 911 call. He called in for back-up, but he had already been wounded when the team arrived.
The officer is currently on leave, recovering from the event and undergoing physical therapy. His vocal cords were damaged as a bullet struck his neck. He has also undergone numerous other surgeries.
“It got quiet. It got very warm. [...] Your eyes start getting a little bit heavy and I thought, I'm not going out like this. I refuse to go out on a parking lot; not happening,” he recalls of that day.
He managed to take cover under a car, a move that probably saved his life, but had already been hit many times.
“The shooter came around again and he fired a bunch more times. [...] At one point -- it was after he hit me in the back of the head -- I just thought, is that not enough? Did you not shoot me enough times?,” he describes.
He tried to keep calm the whole time, to avoid losing consciousness.
“If you focus on the breathing, you're not going to panic. [...] So that's what I did,” Murphy says.
Will power and a strong wish to make it through are what kept him alive throughout his ordeal.
“That's just the way we're made. [...] You don't go out like this. You'd better put up a fight,” he adds.