|They stopped the carnage|
|They stopped the carnage|
|Written by Mark Nichols|
Most people remember the horrific shooting after a man walked into a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and opened fire. The gunman killed six people that day. But what most people don’t know is that the damage could have been much worse had it not been for the selfless heroism of two cops.
In their first television interviews since the incident with CBS News, Lt. Brian Murphy and Officer Sam Lenda recalled the chaos and horror they faced after responding to reports of shots fired.
It was 10:26 the morning when Oak Creek police got the first call.
"There is a guy in the church shooting with a gun," the dispatcher said.
Murphy arrived first. There were two bodies in the parking lot.
“I need an ambulance. I do not see a shooter anywhere," Murphy can be heard telling dispatchers in recordings.
Just seconds later he spotted the shooter, Wade Michael Page and gave chase.
"I moved forward and realized that, very quickly, that this is probably the guy that we're looking for," Murphy told CBS News, his voice raspy from his injuries.
Page, a white supremacist, was armed with a nine millimeter semi-automatic pistol.
"That's when he raised his gun and we probably shot close to the same time," Murphy recalled. "The first shot took me here. And that's why my voice is the way it is."
Surveillance video clearly shows Page running toward Murphy, who is on the ground wounded and out of frame. Page then shot Murphy 12 times.
"He shot me in the back of the skull," Murphy said. "As silly as it sounds, I thought to myself, 'Is that not enough?'"
Murphy said Page was ice cold.
"I had expected there to be, like, most people, some kind of -- whether it's excitement or anger or something. But there was nothing," Murphy told CBS./
About two dozen people were hiding in and around the temple when Officer Sam Lenda arrived on the scene. Lenda’s the best shot in his agency.
"I'm just stepping out here when the windshield explodes," Lenda said.
Lenda's dashboard camera shows a tense exchange.
"Drop the gun! Drop the gun!" Lenda shouted.
"This is when I start firing at him. I hit him on the second round," Lenda said.
Lenda hit Page at a range of 60 yards. The wounded gunman then shot himself in the head.
Video from his police car's dashboard shows Lenda advancing on the gunman as more than two dozen people were still in the line of the shooter’s fire.
"My thought was, 'If I can't shoot him, I'm gonna run him over, but he's not leaving this parking lot and he's not getting back inside the church," Lenda said.
Murphy said it's not worthwhile to dwell on Page and his actions.
"He's dead. He's nothin'. The people who remain, the people who carry on, that's what's important," he said.
Murphy said he knows he’s lucky to be alive.
"I went to see the neurologist about the bullet stuck in my skull. And he just looked at all my X-rays and he said, 'That's a miracle,'" Murphy said. "You can call it divine intervention. You can call it dumb luck. I'll happily take either one."
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