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Oak Creek’s Lt. Murphy, Ofc. Lenda honored at state Capitol

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MADISON (WITI) -- A day after the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon that killed three and injured nearly 150 -- in which first responders displayed so much bravery -- two Wisconsin police officers were honored in Madison for their courage under fire.

Oak Creek Police Lieutenant Brian Murphy and Oak Creek Police Officer Sam Lenda responded to the Sikh Temple shooting in August, and on Tuesday, April 16th, they were honored by the Legislature at the state Capitol.

The Assembly greeted Lt. Murphy and Officer Lenda with a standing ovation. The two were then honored with the Hometown Hero Award for their extraordinary efforts at the Sikh Temple shooting.

Officer Lenda was responsible for putting an end to the rampage when he shot and killed the gunman, white supremacist Wade Page.

"We did confront evil that day and it walks among us.  I accept this award on behalf of all of the officers who responded that day," Officer Lenda said.

Lt. Murphy was first on the scene.

"Lt. Murphy is here as someone who survived the worst of the danger.  He was first on the scene to arrive at the Sikh Temple shooting, and he put his personal safety aside -- leaving his AR-15 rifle in his car, leaving his ballistic shield in his car so he could rush out to help victims," State Rep. Jon Richards (D - Milwaukee) said.

Lt. Murphy was shot 15 times, and his valiant fight is credited with keeping Page from killing others at the Sikh Temple.

"What we did is the same thing that you do.  It's to put yourself aside for the greater good. So I just want to say thank you for having us here, and thanks to our first responders in Boston, and those poor family members at the tragedy in Boston (Monday)," Lt. Murphy said.

The bombings in Boston, which are now being investigated as terrorism was the unsettling context for the day's ceremony.  State Rep. Peter Barca named Officer Lenda and Lt. Murphy as examples of the kind of bravery that was seen at the Boston Marathon on Monday.

"Putting themselves into harm's way in such a valiant manner. A day like (Monday) reminds us that before we're Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or progressives -- most importantly, we're all Americans.  We're proud of this country. We're proud of what this country represents," Rep. Barca said.

Both Officer Lenda and Lt. Murphy resist the label of "hero," as Murphy says he was only doing his job.

CLICK HERE for additional coverage on the Sikh Temple shooting via FOX6Now.com.

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