Oak Creek Police Lieutenant retires after 22 years on the force

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OAK CREEK (WITI) -- Dozens of people gathered at the Oak Creek Police Headquarters on Friday, June 14th, to commemorate the retirement of an officer who displayed signs of heroism during the Sikh Temple shooting last August.

Lt. Brian Murphy was the first to arrive at the scene of the Sikh Temple shooting on the morning of August 5th, 2013. Upon arriving at the temple's parking lot, he was shot multiple times by Wade Page.

"On the 5th, you learn what you're made of," said Murphy. "But what you learn more than anything is you're much more capable than you think you are, and you're much more able to do what you think you can't."

After 22 years of service, Murphy's lingering physical limitations have forced him into an early retirement. However, members of the law enforcement community, including a contingent of Canadian Police Officers, view his recovery as an inspiration.

"Brian's an amazing human being, and I'm honored to call him a friend and a colleague - so it's something we would never miss," said Bhupinder Athwal of Ontario's York Police.

Along with Friday's celebrations, Murphy's role at the Sikh Temple shooting last August has earned him a spot at President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address and a mention by the president, himself.

However, Murphy believes his career is made up of so much more than just the day with which he is most commonly associated. He is looking toward the future.

"It's time to move on to something else, but I have a lot of great memories here," Murphy said. "And I'll never forget that, and especially the people I work with."

Murphy said he's looking forward to his new job - working for the company that made his old bullet proof vest. Starting Monday he'll be working with members of law enforcement who are recovering from line-of-duty shootings.