NEW: The first officer to arrive was hit 15 times, police chief says
A bullet smashes through a police officer's windshield
The image was captured by the squad car's dashboard camera
Other video captures the first officer shooting it out with the temple gunman
Dashboard cameras from police cars captured a bullet smashing into one cruiser’s windshield as officers confronted the man behind the August rampage at a Sikh temple outside Milwaukee.
The bullet went “right above the steering wheel and it went into the headrest,” Oak Creek, Wisconsin, police officer Sam Lenda told reporters Monday.
Lenda was crouched behind the open driver’s side door with a rifle at the time, shouting “Drop the gun!” He shot back, wounding temple gunman Michael Wade Page.
Page is blamed for killing six people at the Oak Creek temple and critically wounding the first officer to arrive at the scene, Lt. Brian Murphy. Investigators released video from the two officers’ patrol cars Monday, including scenes of Murphy exchanging fire with Page as the officer is hit.
“The both fire at the same time, and the bullet hits him in the throat,” Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards says. “So he’s hit as he’s diving behind cover when you see that.”
Lenda shot Page in the stomach, then Page turned his pistol on himself as officers closed in, investigators later determined.
Murphy is now at home, recovering from this wounds, Edwards said. Lenda said that when he pulled into the driveway of the Sikh temple, or gurdwara, “I saw an individual coming at me, and I had a sense this was not right.”
“The way he was marching at me was in an aggressive manner,” Lenda said. “It’s not like someone raising their hands, asking for help.”
Page, an Army veteran who played in a white supremacist rock band, killed five men and a woman at the temple. The dead included the congregation’s president. The FBI said the slayings were being investigated as a possible act of domestic terrorism, but the probe is still under way, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said Monday.
Police said in the aftermath of the killings that Murphy had been shot nine times. But Edwards said Monday that Murphy had in fact been shot 15 times, including three bullets that were stopped by his body armor.
Chisholm said Murphy managed to get one round off from his pistol before being hit himself.
“There’s no question in my mind that Lt. Murphy’s intervention prevented Page from continuing this rampage … The time he spent that allowed Officer Lenda to arrive on scene is probably the difference between other people being killed in this incident,” Chisholm said.