Editor's Note: Lt. Brian Murphy spoke to Patch after he was named Oak Creek Person of the Year. See that story here.
Oak Creek Police Lt. Brian Murphy, shot 12 times during the attack at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, was with his wife when he heard about the that left 26 dead, including 20 children.
His wife, as much as anyone, could relate to what parents of Sandy Hook Elementary School students went through in those first minutes and hours: knowing that something terrible has happened and trying to figure out exactly what is going on.
Murphy, meanwhile, has some idea of what first responders are dealing with: recovering from entering a gruesome scene at Sandy Hook and notifying parents of the deaths of their children.
Murphy said he has made a death notification to parents of one child, and that was hard enough.
"To do something on such a grand scale is just mind-numbing," Murphy said.
At some point officers will have to go back to their normal duties, which can also be tough.
"The transition can be very difficult to go from such a huge incident back to ... writing parking tickets," Murphy said.
The attack at the Sikh temple that took the lives of six people has been mentioned often since the Newtown tragedy as the debate about how to prevent mass shootings intensifies.
Family members of temple shooting victims have joined calls for government action and President Barack Obama has cited the attack in two major speeches. Oak Creek officials have also reached out to Newtown to offer whatever support and advice they can give.
Murphy said "trying to figure out the 'why'" will be something that continues for a long time.
"You just look at it and you can't understand," he said. "It's very sad for all of us."