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Spokane gudwara raises money for officer injured in Wisconsin shooting


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Lt. Brian Murphy
Lt. Brian Murphy

In August, when a gunman attacked a Sikh gudwara in Oak Creek, Wisc., police officer Lt. Brian Murphy was shot nine times. When rescuers came to his aid, he waived them away. According to a witness, “He had been shot nine times — one of them very serious in the neck area — and he waved them off and told them to go into the temple to assist those in there.”

His personal sacrifice touched the Spokane Sikh community and at the end of September members of the Sikh Temple (gudwara) of Spokane sent him $2,600 to assist with his medical care.

“Your personal disregard, for your care while you lay severely injured on the ground, and calling upon rescuers to go save lives in the Sikh Temple, was a shining example of dedication to your cause and profession,” wrote Religious Minister Gurjeet Singh Aujla. “The Sikh community fervently prays that this sacrifice will be a turning point in the American psychic in embracing diversity and celebrating our difference.”

Baldev Singh, member of the gudwara, said collection boxes were set up around the temple for a few weeks and members made anonymous donations.


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Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of FāVS.News, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.

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