Sunday’s attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, which left six people and the gunman dead, has for many of us opened a window on a religion, a culture and a people we know little about.
One thing we’re learning is how remarkably kind and patient many faithful Sikhs seem to be. As Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel writes today, for Sikhs “anger is not just futile, it’s a sin.”
On Morning Edition, one long-time member of the Sikh community in Oak Creek, Wis., where Sunday’s attack happened, spoke in ways that underscore that belief. Swaranjit Arora expressed sorrow, to be sure, but no bitterness toward the country he now calls home or its people.
And at the end of his conversation with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, Arora’s thoughts turned to one of Sunday’s heroes — Oak Creek Police Department Lt. Brian Murphy. It was Murphy who was the first officer on the scene. It was Murphy who police say was shot eight to nine times by Wade Michael Page, the man who has been identified as the gunman.
The officer is fighting for his life at a Milwaukee hospital. In speaking about the lieutenant, Arora’s voice seemed to crack with emotion:
“Our heart goes out to Brian Murphy … who really came and put his own life on the spot and helped our community. If he … was not there we … could have 30 dead.”
There’s more about Murphy in today’s Journal Sentinel. According to Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards, when he visited Murphy on Monday night the lieutenant tried to mouth one word: “Sorry.”
Also today, Milwaukee’s TMJ4-TV reports about the one woman who was killed Sunday, 41-year-old Paramjit Kaur. According to her son, Kamal Saini, “she was shot in the back. … She didn’t have a chance. They said she was dead on the spot.”
And CNN has posted its video report on what friends and relatives of those killed are saying about their loved ones.
Meanwhile, The Associated Press says that:
“Page’s girlfriend, 31-year-old nursing student Misty Cook, faces legal trouble herself. She was arrested on a tentative charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, South Milwaukee police said Tuesday. There was no immediate indication that her arrest was linked to Sunday’s shooting, and police refused to release additional information.”