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Sikhs donate to Wisconsin officer shot at temple
Calling it a tribute to a "real American hero," two Yuba City residents on Wednesday donated $50,000 each to the Wisconsin police officer who was shot 15 times during the Aug. 5 rampage at a Sikh temple outside Milwaukee.
Didar S. Bains and Dr. Balwinder S. Malhi combined to donate $100,000 to Lt. Brian Murphy of the Oak Creek Police Department in Wisconsin. The donation was made Wednesday at the Yuba City Police Department.
Karm Bains spoke on his father's behalf and praised Murphy's bravery and heroism.
"He sacrificed his own well-being to save other lives," Karm Bains said in a prepared statement. "We as a country and as a community will be forever in his debt."
Murphy, 51, was shot 15 times, including once in the throat by gunman Wade Michael Page, according to Oak Creek police Chief John Edwards, who spoke with the Appeal-Democrat regarding the donation from Yuba City.
Page, 40, was shot in the chest by Murphy's fellow officers, but died after turning his 9mm handgun on himself, Edwards explained.
"It's amazing, it's just fantastic," Edwards said of the donation. "It will really help Brian and his family."
Six members of the Oak Creek temple congregation were killed, including Gurdwara President Satwant Kaleka, who had been a friend of the Bains family.
Edwards said investigators are still unsure of the exact motive behind the shooting, but noted that Page has been linked to white supremacist groups.
"The FBI is still looking into his motive but he was obviously part of a hate group," Edwards said. "And these were people that were different than him, so we can put two and two together."
Karm Bains said Murphy's actions that day saved many other lives.
"After being shot ... a fellow officer came to his aid, which he declined by ordering the officer to attend other victims that were there," Bains said. "His bravery and professionalism contained a situation that could have been much worse."
Edwards said he was touched to hear of the donation and said he is grateful for the support his officer has received because Murphy has a long road to recovery ahead of him.
"Brian's recovery has been miraculous, he was even able to attend one of our meeting here (Tuesday)," Edwards said. "He's still not able to speak well because of the throat injury, but he's doing fantastic."
Chief Rob Landon said the money would be sent on Murphy, who is recovering at home.
"They just wanted to do it in private," Landon said of Bains and Malhi. "But I just thought the gesture was so worthy that we needed to bring them up here and honor them and thank them for what they're doing."
Malhi said the donations were heartfelt tributes for Murphy's action and pledged "to do even more" should such a tragedy ever strike Yuba City.
"Absolutely we would do even more, this is all of our family," Malhi said of the Yuba City Police Department officers. "They do so much for us always and we will always show our support to our family."
CONTACT Rob Parsons at email@example.com or 749-4785. Find him on Facebook at /ADcrimebeat or on Twitter at @ADcrimebeat.