OAK CREEK, Wis. — The brave Brooklyn-born cop who was shot nine times duringÂ the Wisconsin temple massacre opened his eyes Tuesday and told the world heÂ wasn’t dead yet.
“Hello,” Lt. Brian Murphy reportedly said.
That alone was enough to prompt quiet cheering in the intensive care unit ofÂ a Milwaukee hospital when the 51-year-old super cop remains in criticalÂ condition.
“He can recognize his family,” an Oak Creek police officer told The DailyÂ News. “You have no idea the relief we are feeling.”
Murphy was shot Sunday by a frustrated neo–Nazi who had invaded a Sikh templeÂ in suburban Milwaukee and slaughtered six worshipers with a legally purchasedÂ 9mm handgun.
FBI agents walk past the entrance to the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin,Â August 7, 2012.
That tragedy was keenly felt in Richmond Hills, Queens, where there is aÂ large Sikh community – and where many were praying for Murphy’s recovery.
“Officer Murphy, he said one word this morning, which is hello,” said HarpeetÂ Toor, who said he’s been in constant touch with other Sikhs in Oak Creek. “SoÂ he’s still in critical condition, but he’s coming out of it.”
Murphy’s brother, Terry, who recently retired from the NYPD, was by hisÂ bedside at Froedtert Hospital, sources said.
Murphy’s return to consciousness was a hopeful sign, but the death-defyingÂ cop still has a bullet in his neck, sources said.
Murphy was the first officer to respond to the massacre when he was ambushedÂ by Page. Badly wounded, he waved off officers running to his rescue and sentÂ them to tend the wounded in the sanctuary.
“He was doing what a good leader would do,” former Oak Creek Police ChiefÂ Thomas Bauer said. “He knew precious time was wasting. He made a great decisionÂ to direct his men to take care of the threat.”
Page was shot and killed by another Oak Creek officer.
Murphy moved to the Midwest to be closer to his wife’s family. Before heÂ became he cop, he was a Marine and worked as an embassy guard for the UnitedÂ Nations.
Bauer said they didn’t know what to make of the “big city boy” with theÂ thick Brooklyn accent when he first joined their department in 1991.
“We thought, ‘What is the heck are you doing out of New York?’” BauerÂ recalled. “We had this diamond that was meant for a bigger stage.”
But Murphy quickly showed he was a “hell of an investigator,” said Bauer.
The FBI has not said why the 40-year-old gunman targeted the Sikh temple,Â but Page’s bigotry was no secret. He played guitar in a racist rock band and wasÂ well known in warped white power circles.
Page also knew guns – he’d served in the Army from 1992 to 1998, when he gotÂ a general discharge. That’s lower than an honorable discharge and it barred PageÂ from reenlisting.
On Tuesday, Page’s former girlfriend, Misty Cook, 31, was arrested after anÂ unregistered gun was found in her apartment, FOX News reported. Cops say sheÂ played no role in the massacre.
Source: The NY Daily News