A sacked employee opened fire at the Milwaukee campus of a big brewing company Wednesday and President Donald Trump said five people were killed.
Trump’s comments, at a press conference on the new coronavirus, were the first official word on the toll in the latest spasm of America’s gun violence epidemic.“A wicked murderer opened fire at a Molson Coors brewing company plant, taking the lives of five people, a number of people wounded, some badly wounded,” Trump said.
Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett said earlier there were “multiple fatalities” and he believed this included the shooter.
“It’s a horrible, horrible day for the employees,” he said, urging residents to stay away from the area.
US media including ABC News and the local Fox affiliate reported the shooter had been fired earlier in the day from the beer giant, which owns the Coors and Miller brands.
The local CBS affiliate said the shooter appeared to have stolen the nametag of another employee, then returned to the office complex with a gun.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said six people were killed in the rampage, in addition to the shooter. The local CBS affiliate said four people were killed as well as the shooter.– Company restructuring –
Police in the Midwestern city were to hold a press conference at 6:00 pm (0000 GMT). They tweeted that the scene remained “active” — but that there was no longer a threat.
The Chicago division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was also on site.
Molson Coors said it was working with the police department, adding: “Our top priority is our employees.”
The Journal Sentinel quoted the husband of a brewery employee, Lasonya Ragdales, as saying she was informed by the company of an active shooter on the premises, and was texting him while locked in a room with co-workers. Nearby schools were also placed on lockdown.
Known until last year as MillerCoors, the beer company announced in October 2019 that it would undergo a large restructuring and officially changed its name to Molson Coors Brewing Co.
It also moved its North American headquarters office from Denver to Chicago and shifted hundreds of corporate office jobs to Milwaukee.
The company was expected to cut 400 to 500 jobs throughout the organization during the restructuring.
The Milwaukee shooting is the latest in a long list of gun-related violence in the US, which saw a record 417 mass shootings in 2019, according to the research group Gun Violence Archive.
As America digested what appeared to be another mass shooting, Democratic presidential hopefuls started weighing in.
“May we find the strength and will to act against gun violence, and never accept the unacceptable,” said Pete Buttigieg.
“I’m devastated for the victims, and my heart is with their loved ones and all those affected by this tragedy. We shouldn’t have to live with this constant horror and grief. We need to act now to end the gun violence epidemic,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren.