MILWAUKEE – Seven people were killed including a gunman during a shooting rampage on the Milwaukee campus of Molson Coors on Wednesday afternoon, according to multiple sources who spoke to the Journal Sentinel.
Employees were notified by email that an active shooter was in or near the second-floor stairwell of the sprawling factory’s Building 4. Police responded at 2:11 p.m.
Molson Coors Beverage Co. was formerly known as MillerCoors, before a 2019 name change. It is part of a beer-brewing empire that is one of the largest in the world.
Milwaukee police said in a tweet at 3:49 p.m. that the situation was still an “active scene.”
The scene was chaotic two hours after the initial report. Live video showed an officer in body armor getting an assault rifle out of a car. Canines were on the scene. Helicopters hovered near the sprawling complex, which includes corporate offices and brewing facilities.
James Boyles spoke with the Journal Sentinel. He said his wife, Lasonya Ragdales, works at Molson Coors in the claims department. She has been told that there is an active shooter and she is locked in a room with co-workers. She was texting him from inside the building.
Paramedic units from Milwaukee and West Allis were dispatched to the scene along with officers from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, Marquette University Police Department and the U.S. Marshals. Officials with the FBI and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also on the scene.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett arrived on the scene at 3:30 p.m.
Multiple nearby schools were locked down.
Nearby Marquette University shared a statement on Twitter saying that there was no threat to the campus.
At Woodlands School Andre Kimbrough said his son was still inside the building. Kimbrough said he, along with many other parents, went to pick up their children at the end of school around 3:15 p.m. but got a call from school officials about the lockdown. Many parents were circling the block waiting for an all-clear.
Kimbrough said he could see a “stream of police cars,” ambulances and fire trucks. He felt good that the kids were safe inside.
“I’m more worried about how they feel,” Kimbrough said. “They must be kind of freaking out.”
Molson Coors Beverage Co., which operates MillerCoors, on Oct. 30 announced plans to close a Denver office and relocate hundreds of corporate support jobs to the Milwaukee office, 3939 W. Highland Blvd.
The brewer now has 610 jobs at the Milwaukee office. Corporate functions based there include human resources, financing and information technology. Also, the main brewery on West State Street and a smaller, recently expanded brewery together have 750 jobs.
The company also runs tours nearby that take people to underground caves where beer was once stored.
The restructuring announced last fall is designed to cut costs, with 400 to 500 jobs being eliminated throughout Molson Coors. The consolidation also will bring together employees in central locations so they can better work together.
Molson Coors has seen continuing sales declines as it faces steadily increasing competition from craft brewers, as well as other makers of alcoholic drinks. Its recent name change, from Molson Coors Brewing Co., reflects increased investment in cider, seltzer and other alcoholic drinks.
Joe Taschler, Tom Daykin, Jordyn Noennig, Ricardo Torres, Sarah Hauer, John Steppe and Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel staff. Grace Hauck and Joel Shannon reported for USA TODAY.