By PoliceOne Staff
OAK CREEK, Wis. — The officer who took down a gunman who killed six people and ambushed an officer outside a Sikh temple in August has spoken for the first time about the incident.
Oak Creek Police Officer Sam Lenda discussed the dash cam video of the August incident during a news conference Monday.
Lenda praised the work of other officers involved in the response, and said he was just doing his job when he took down shooter Wade Page.
“Hero is heavy. I’m just an officer who did my job,” Lenda told reporters.
He said the first thing he did when Page marched toward him was grab his assault rifle and give orders to drop the weapon.
“I saw the individual coming at me and it’s just something that I had a sense that this was not right," Lenda said.
As Page continued to approach and began firing at him, Lenda said he took cover behind the door of the squad. Bullets landed just above Lenda's steering wheel and into his headrest.
After running through what he described as a "checklist" that was drilled in through years of training, Lenda returned fire.
"No other things would work," he said. "It wouldn't be advisable for me to use a taser or to try to OC this gentleman, it was time to use deadly force, which I was privileged to do at that time."
“We know that he was on a mission to cause havoc. He had to be stopped and that’s why I decided to shoot at that time."
Lenda fired at Page six times, striking him one time and effectively ending the shootout. Page then shot himself fatally in the head.
Before Lenda arrived, Page had fired 15 rounds into Oak Creek officer Brian Murphy. Six people died when Page opened fire inside the temple.
"He was coming at me, and the way he was marching at me was in an aggressive manner."