‘Milwaukee is grieving’: What we know about Molson Coors shooting

Like any other work day, Selena Curka went to the Milwaukee campus of Molson Coors to do her job.

Wednesday wasn’t just another day.

In one of the worst shootings in Wisconsin history, and the first in the Milwaukee area since 2012, a 51-year-old brewery employee fatally shot five people before killing himself, police said.

“We are a family here at Molson Coors in Milwaukee and this is an unspeakable tragedy for us,” the company’s CEO, Gavin Hattersley, said at an evening press conference. “All across Milwaukee and Wisconsin, there are folk that are associated in some way with our employees at Molson Coors, and I’d ask you to stay close with them — and particularly the families of those who lost their lives today.”

The afternoon shooting left Milwaukee in mourning, with Mayor Tom Barrett calling it the “saddest day” in the 165-year history of the iconic “Miller Valley,” where a massive red Miller sign towers over a sprawling complex that includes one of the nation’s largest breweries and packaging and distribution centers.

“Milwaukee is grieving today,” Police Chief Alfonso Morales told reporters.

“We are all a family. We work a lot of hours together, so we’re all very sad,” said Curka, a brewery employee who was turned away from work when the complex went on lockdown following reports of the shooting.

Who are the victims?

The five victims were all employees of Molson Coors Beverage Co., which was renamed from MillerCoors in 2019. Authorities have not released their names.

“There were five individuals who went to work today, just like everybody goes to work, and they thought they were going to go to work, finish their day and return to their families. They didn’t – and tragically they never will,” Barrett said.

On Wednesday night, Morales told reporters to respect the privacy of the victims’ families and allow them to grieve for their lost loved ones.

“There’s family coming in from out of town,” the police chief said.

Who was the gunman?

Police have not released his name, saying only that he was a 51-year-old brewery employee. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Morales said.

What happened, and why?

Authorities did not immediately offer a motive for the gunman’s actions or share details about the incident.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel of the USA TODAY Network reported that employees were notified by email that an active shooter was in or near the second-floor stairwell of the factory’s Building 4. The suspect and victims were found dead in the same building, Morales said.

What type of gun was used in the attack?

The Journal Sentinel, citing a police source, said the shooter was armed with two handguns, including one with a silencer. The make and model of the weapons, however, remained unknown early Thursday.

Silencers or suppressors are legal in 42 states, including Wisconsin, but must be registered under the National Firearms Act. According to the latest federal report, more than 29,000 were registered in the Badger State, the Journal Sentinel reported.

What’s the history of mass shootings in Wisconsin?

Wednesday’s shooting marked the state’s 11th mass shooting since 2004 but the first in Milwaukee in nearly eight years.

In August 2012, a white supremacist killed six people and injured four others at a Sikh temple in suburban Oak Creek before killing himself after being wounded in a shootout with police.

Seven years earlier, a man fatally shot seven people and wounded four others at a church service inside the Sheraton Hotel in Brookfield, another Milwaukee suburb, the area’s deadliest mass shooting in the past 20 years.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Continue reading at USA Today