New York, Feb 8 (IANS): The Oak Creek Gurdwara in Wisconsin, US, which witnessed mass shooting in 2012, honoured Milwaukee Police Department's (MPD) first India-born officer who retired from the service after 21 years.
Balbir Mahay, who came to the US in 1999, was there when the tragedy struck the Sikh temple nearly 11 years ago to support members of the Sikh community.
Mahay is also a member of the gurdwara, and "that connection was especially helpful during the mass shooting at the temple", WISN TV reported.
Mahay said he is forever grateful to everyone who made his career possible.
"Thank you to my community, my Indian community, and my Milwaukee Police Department, friends, and families to bring me here, give this much respect that I was able to retire. I'm happy with that," he told WISN TV.
He worked for the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office before joining the MPD.
Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, who was also there at the occasion and presented Mahay with a certificate of appreciation, tweeted: "I was able to go to the @SikhTempleWi to honor Balbir Mahay -- the first Indian police officer employed by the @MilwaukeePolice Department". "Thank you, Balbir, for your over 20 years of dedicated service to our city!"
The mass shooting at the Oak Creek Gurdwara in Wisconsin left seven people from the Sikh community dead and left many others injured.
The 40-year-old shooter, Wade Michael Page, shot himself in the head with his 9mm Springfield XD(M) semi-automatic pistol after he was shot in the hip by a responding police officer.