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VIDEO | Lt. Brian Murphy, shot 15 times in 2012, talks about life & leadership at Cedar Community event

West Bend, WI – A powerful evening during the annual Cedar Community Leadership Event as Lt. Brian Murphy, shot 15 times in 2012 as a gunman opened fire at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, WI, spoke about reflecting on life and the challenges of leadership.


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Cedar Community CED Nicole Pretre sat down with Murphy following his keynote speech where he shared profound insights and reflections on his experiences. Lt. Murphy discussed his family’s long history of service, highlighting the deep-rooted commitment to public safety and community welfare that shaped his life.


Reflecting on the aftermath of the shooting, Lt. Murphy spoke of the forgiveness and empathy shown by the Sikh community, which deeply impacted him.

“I was in the hospital, right out of the ICU and the TV was on and the reporter was interviewing the new head of the Sikh Temple and they said, ‘We forgive him,'” said Murphy. “That just struck me… I remember saying ‘I’m never going to forgive that guy.'”

Murphy said the more he was around the Sikh community they emphasized the importance of letting go of hatred and not giving power to negative emotions, a lesson he learned through his own healing process.

“They said, if you keep hating the shooter… you’re just giving him your energy and your time… just let it go,” said Murphy. “The more I looked at it, everything in my life is ahead of me, so why do I keep looking in the rearview mirror.”

Lt. Murphy’s resilience and positive outlook are further exemplified by his commitment to his job and his community. Despite facing significant challenges, including ongoing medical treatments for his injuries, Lt. Murphy remained dedicated to serving others and making a difference in the world.

In a touching moment, Lt. Murphy recounted a powerful encounter with a survivor from the shooting, who expressed gratitude for his heroism.

Click HERE to read details of the August 5, 2012 Sikh Temple shooting

“This tiny woman comes up to me and she goes you’re my hero,” said Murphy. “I hate that word; I’m doing my job. But she said no, no, she was one of the people chased into the pantry. She asked if I knew how many people were in there.  She said 15 women and children. Then she asked how many times I got shot and I said 15 and she said there were exactly 15 of us in there and you took a bullet for every one of us.”

That poignant moment served as a testament to Lt. Murphy’s bravery and selflessness, as he risked his life to protect others.

In closing, Lt. Murphy’s story served as a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of compassion and forgiveness in overcoming adversity.

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