Officials reflect on response to Sikh Temple shooting

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OAK CREEK -- As federal investigators look into the past of Wade Michael Page, the Sikh Temple shooting suspect, Oak Creek leaders are reflecting on how they responded to the incident. The city's mayor, fire chief and police chief shared their thoughts in a community forum on Tuesday, August 28th.

When Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards looks back on Sunday, August 5th, he calls it chaos. He is one of many analyzing what they could have done better.

"We had two people manning the phones and not only are our 911 banks full, but now we're getting international calls with different information, so there's quite a bit of a delay and it causes quite a bit of confusion," Edwards said.

Hundreds of people and dozens of units responded to calls for help at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. Thousands more were trying to find out what was going on. After the chaos had cleared, providing information became more of a priority. However, Oak Creek leaders hit another bump when they turned people to the city's website.

"Ten million hits within a minute to that website, which obviously crashed it," Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi said.

While the ordeal is now behind them, its effects may linger for years.

"My concern is what's going to happen? Because I had two guys that were first on the scene that only had four months on the job. How are they going to deal with this long term?" Oak Creek Fire Chief Tom Rosandich said.

Chief Edwards says discussions about what they could have done better may seem almost disrespectful, but are necessary.

"That's how we train for these types of events. We find could we have done something a little bit better or maybe what would help this for anyone else who would have to do this that we can pass it along," Edwards said.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney is still working on the investigation. On the docket -- talking one-on-one with Lieutenant Brian Murphy, who suffered multiple gun shot wounds and was among the first to the scene of the shooting.

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