OAK CREEK — In a Tweet Monday night, August 6th, Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi said Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards had a chance to visit injured Oak Creek Lt. Brian Murphy at Froedtert Hospital. Edwards reported Lt. Murphy gave him the “thumbs up.”
Murphy was one of three injured in a shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek that left six others dead. Oak Creek police brought the shooter, 40-year-old Wade Michael Page down outside the temple.
All three of those injured in the shooting, including Lt. Murphy, remained in critical condition at Froedtert Hospital as of Tuesday, August 7th.
Chief Edwards says Murphy, the 20-year veteran officer is still heavily sedated, but was able to give a “thumbs up.” Edwards said he gave Murphy some words of encouragement.
“Because of him and the officers there, I believe they saved many lives. He’s not able to converse — more of a ‘doing okay, you did a great job, you’re a hero,'” Edwards said.
All afternoon Tuesday, flower shops dropped off bouquets to the Oak Creek police station — some specifically for Lt. Murphy and others for the department as a whole.
Chief Edwards says his officers are working with the FBI — the agency leading this investigation. As officials search for a motive, they’re learning more about Page’s deep roots with the white supremacy movement.
“When someone does something like this, you have to question what they’re all about. This is not a person that most of us would be comfortable being around,” one official said.
Page was a well-known member of hate groups and performed in bands with lyrics talking about killing blacks and Jews. Photos show Page standing in front of a swastika and other photos show him in front of a Confederate flag.
Despite this, Chief Edwards says he hesitates to call this a hate crime. He says though many may find it easy to connect the dots, he says what led Page to the shooting on Sunday morning may never be clear.
“We may never know the motive, because the individual that had that motive — we’ll never be able to ask him what it was,” Chief Edwards said.
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