A gunman opened fire at the Molson Coors Beverage Co brewing complex in Milwaukee on Wednesday, killing five co-workers before he was found dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, the city’s police chief said.
“No one else was injured in the violence at the sprawling campus of more than 20 buildings, where some 1,400 workers are employed by the beer company in Wisconsin’s largest city,” Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said.
The entire Molson Coors property was placed under a security lock down for several hours following the gunfire as police swept each building to rule out any further threats or victims.
“We can now say that the scene is secure. All employees who were on scene have been allowed to go home,” Morales added.
According to Morales, “the bloodshed was confined to the Molson Coors complex west of downtown, a facility known to locals as the old Miller brewery, and that no members of the general public were involved.”
Miller beer is one of the company’s leading brands, and Mayor Tom Barrett said the plant has been part of the city for 165 years.
The suspect was described by police as a 51year old Milwaukee resident and employee of Molson Coors. Details about the circumstances of the shooting, including what may have precipitated the carnage, were not provided by authorities.
Morales said the body of the dead gunman, who was believed to have acted alone, was found in the same building as his five victims.
Prayers and condolences
President Donald Trump, acknowledging the shooting hours earlier as he opened a White House news conference about the coronavirus outbreak, referred to the gunman as a “wicked murderer” and called the gun violence “a terrible thing.”
“Our hearts go out to the people of Wisconsin and to the families,” he said.
“We are a family here at Molson Coors in Milwaukee, and this is an unthinkable tragedy for us,” company President and Chief Executive Officer, Gavin Hattersley said.
The Milwaukee shooting seemed likely to reignite a contentious debate about gun control in the midst of the U.S. presidential election.
Last year saw 417 mass shootings in the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive GVA, the highest annual number since the non-profit research group started keeping a tally in 2013. GVA defines a mass shooting as any in which at least four people, excluding the perpetrator, are shot.