A gunman killed five people at the Molson Coors headquarters in Milwaukee on Wednesday afternoon before turning the gun on himself in what the city's police chief described as an “unspeakable tragedy” for the city.
Police identified the shooter as a 51-year-old employee of the brewing company but gave no details on a possible motive. It was not immediately clear how many people were injured, or the severity of their injuries.
“This is a tragic day for our city, this is a tragic day for our state. Six families are grieving because of one individual. This is an unspeakable tragedy for our city,” Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said at a press conference.
The families of the victims have been notified, but Morales said police would not immediately release their identities in order to respect their privacy.
Mayor Tom Barrett condemned the “horrific shooting,” and President Trump also offered his condolences ahead of a White House briefing on the coronavirus. “Our hearts break for them and their loved ones,” Trump said, calling it a “terrible thing.”
The Milwaukee Fire Department and Milwaukee police responded to the shooting at around 3:00 p.m., a police spokesperson said.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives said they responded to “the scene of an active shooter at the MillerCoors Building.”
“[I am] sad, hurt. This is not a good day right now,” said City of Milwaukee council member Alderman Russell Stamper, whose district encompasses the MillerCoors building.
Several schools and businesses in the area, including Harley Davidson, were on lockdown on Wednesday afternoon, according to NBC affiliate WTMJ.
“I left work to check on my children. I got an email that their school, Woodlands East, is on lockdown,” Damen Hicks, an assembly worker at Harley Davidson, told The Daily Beast.
The sprawling complex where the shooting occurred includes several corporate offices and brewing facilities where at least 600 people are employed. The area, known as “Miller Valley” in reference to the Miller Brewing Co., also features a 160-year-old brewery.
WISN-TV reported that Molson Coors employees received an email on Wednesday afternoon about an active shooter near one of the buildings.
An employee who works in a different building on campus and asked not to be identified said she was patted down by a SWAT team before leaving work in silence with her hands up.
SWAT teams armed with AR-15s were on every floor as workers were ordered down to the basement for lockdown.
“We were never trained on what to do if this happened because you never think it will actually happen to you,” the worker said. “I wasn’t even in the same building where it happened. But knowing fellow employees died today is gutting.”
The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office said it had not yet been called to the scene. Molson Coors, which owns the Coors and Miller beer brands, officially changed its name from MillerCoors in 2019.
“Our top priority is our employees and we’ll provide updates in conjunction with the police as we are able,” the company tweeted on Wednesday.
—Kate Briquelet contributed reporting.
This is a developing story.
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