FOND DU LAC — As tragic as the 2012 mass shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek Temple was, lessons learned that day continue to help law enforcement and first responders as they train and prepare for the worst.
Members of the Kaukauna police and fire departments, along with members of other area departments, heard first hand from retired Oak Creek police Lieutenant Brian Murphy at the 2017 Wisconsin Active Shooter Response Conference.
The conference, sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Justice was held Feb. 22 and Feb. 23, 2017 in Fond du Lac.
Murphy was the first officer on the scene during the August 2012 shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek. He was hit with 12 bullets during the attack in which six worshipers were killed and three were wounded.
“However, he was not the only hero that day. Two children of members – ages 10 and 7 – were the first to see the gunman and alerted those in the temple to the danger. Once inside of the temple, another member grabbed on to the shooter and held onto him, buying time for others to take cover.
“Even though six members lost their lives that day, it was the actions of these heroes that prevented this tragedy from being any worse,” read the post.
“Little saddened that we need conferences on this subject. Better to be prepared and informed than the alternative though,” was how it was described on the Kaukauna Fire Department Facebook page.
Also among the speakers was San Bernadino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan, who was on duty when Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, were killed in a shootout with authorities after the couple shot and killed 14 people at the Inland Regional Center on Dec. 2, 2015.