MILWAUKEE, Feb 27 — A gunman opened fire at the Molson Coors Beverage Co brewing complex in Milwaukee yesterday, killing five employees before he was found dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot, the city's police chief said.
No other people were injured in the violence, which erupted about 2pm (2000 GMT) at the sprawling campus of more than 20 buildings, where more than 1,000 workers are employed by the beer company in Wisconsin's largest city, the chief said.
“There is no threat at this time, and we will continue to investigate throughout the night,” the police chief, Alfonso Morales, told reporters at a news conference hours after the shooting.
Morales said the bloodshed was confined to the Molson Coors facility, and that “no members of the general public were involved.”
The suspect was described only as a 51-year-old Milwaukee man. Details about the circumstances of the shooting, including what may have precipitated the carnage, were not provided by authorities.
President Donald Trump, acknowledging the shooting 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.”
The Molson Coors Beverage Co said in a statement: “There is an active situation at our Milwaukee facility and we are working closely with the Milwaukee Police Department. Our top priority is our employees and we’ll provide updates in conjunction with the police as we are able.”
The entire Molson Coors campus headquarters was placed under a security lockdown, and the company told employees in an email that the shooter was located in or near a second-floor stairwell near a packaging facility, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Video footage from the scene showed streets cordoned off with numerous police and fire department vehicles ringing the area as brewery workers were escorted from buildings.
Local television station WISN, an ABC affiliate, said police appeared to be searching a vehicle on or near the scene.
According to the Journal Sentinel, Molson Coors Beverage Co, which operates MillerCoors, announced plans last fall to close a Denver office and relocate some corporate support jobs to the Milwaukee office. The newspaper said the restructuring was designed to cut costs and resulted in 400 to 500 jobs being eliminated throughout Molson Coors.
It said the company now has 610 jobs at its Milwaukee corporate office, in addition to 750 jobs at two breweries in the city. — Reuters