Shooter had just been fired from MolsonCoors facility, killed himself
Five people were murdered in a workplace shooting Wednesday at the MolsonCoors campus in Milwaukee, known historically as the Miller Brewery.
Police Chief Alfonso Morales said in an evening briefing that the gunman, 51, had just been fired from his job at the brewery. Morales said all five victims were MolsonCoors employees.
Mayor Tom Barrett called it a community tragedy.
“They thought they were going to go to work, finish their day and return to their families,” he said of the victims. “They didn’t and they never will.”
Morales said the first call came to Milwaukee police at 2:08 p.m. He said the shooter lived in Milwaukee and died “from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. At this time we have located 5 additional deceased victims.”
Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, a former state representative from Milwaukee, called it “another senseless American tragedy, right in our backyard.”
“We have a duty to act,” said Barnes, “We have to be more responsible as a city, as a state, as a nation and stop these preventable tragedies from happening. It doesn’t happen anywhere else but here.”
Gov. Tony Evers concluded the brief remarks from elected officials.
“Wisconsin is a strong state,” Evers said. “My role here tonight is to bring as many prayers as I can carry from the hearts of the people of Wisconsin for the loss that has occurred.”
MolsonCoors executives were at a function in Houston, Texas, and immediately returned to Milwaukee. They and Morales spoke to media around 9:30 p.m.
Flanked by union representatives, MolsonCoors President and CEO Gavin Hattersley made brief remarks to thank the community and law enforcement for their support. did not take any questions.
“We’re a family here,” Hattersley said.
Morales said police will not release victims’ names for up to 48 hours to allow the families time to mourn. All employees had been released and the lockdown had been lifted at that time.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said there are multiple fatalities, including the shooter, at the MolsonCoors Miller Brewery in that city. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other media are reporting seven dead including the shooter, based on multiple sources they did not identify. (Note: The number of victims was later confirmed to be five plus the dead gunman.) WITI-TV is reporting that the shooter was an employee who was fired from MolsonCoors today.
The Milwaukee Police Department said via Twitter at approximately 4:40 p.m. that there is no longer an active threat. The department tweeted just after 2:30 p.m. Wednesday that it was responding to a “critical incident” near the headquarters in the city’s Miller Valley area.
A man who said his wife works at the campus tweeted that six or seven people were “down, including the shooter.” He said the building’s main office was locked down.
WITI-TV reports there are 750 employees in its breweries and 610 workers in their corporate offices. A reporter says the police department’s public information officer said they are unsure of the number of victims or shooters, and the media should monitor their Twitter and Facebook pages.