UPDATED: Monday, September 17, 2012 --- 7:40 a.m.
OAK CREEK, Wis. (AP) -- The police officer shot 15 times during a deadly rampage at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek makes his first public appearance at a community fundraiser.
Police Lt. Brian Murphy celebrated his birthday, in part, by attending a benefit for him and the Sikh temple Sunday outside a bowling alley. It's just across the street from the temple where a gunman killed six worshippers before taking his own life Aug. 5.
Shari Ackeret says she attended the benefit because the community needs more people like Murphy.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the bowling alley to express their gratitude to Murphy. The officer, speaking in a whisper due to his throat injuries, thanked everyone for their kindness and prayers.
Copyright 2012: Associated Press
Posted Sunday, September 16, 2012 --- 5:51 p.m.
From the NBC affiliate in Milwaukee, TMJ 4:
OAK CREEK - Lieutenant Brian Murphy was critically wounded during the shooting rampage that killed six people last month.
Today, he made an appearance at a fundraiser to benefit the victims.
This is the first time Murphy has appeared publicly since he was shot in the line of duty. A cast was visible in his hand and his family was at his side.
Murphy arrived to a hero's welcome at the fundraiser in the bowling alley parking lot across the street from the Sikh temple in Oak Creek. Despite a wound to his throat, the lieutenant wanted to give a public thank you.
"I just want to let everyone know how appreciative I am, my family is for your kindness, prayers and support that means so much to us," Murphy told the crowd.
This is the same lot authorities used as staging ground when responding to that mass shooting last month.
Murphy survived more than dozen gun shots, and more importantly survived to celebrate his birthday.
At his side was Oak Creek Police officer Sam Lenda. He fired the shot that took down the temple gunman.