MILWAUKEE — A shooting occurred at around 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon at the Molson Coors Brewing Co. campus on Highland Boulevard in Milwaukee, leaving six dead, according to Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales.
The shooter was a 51-year-old Milwaukee man. When officers found him, the man was "deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," Morales said.
The other five victims were all adult employees of the brewery.
Media reports indicate that the shooter was a former employee of the brewery who had been fired earlier that day.
Molson Coors, oftentimes referred to as MillerCoors in Milwaukee, confirmed that “there is an active situation at our Milwaukee facility” via Twitter at 4:24 p.m. Wednesday. “Our top priority is our employees and we’ll provide updates in conjunction with the police as we are able.”
“It is a horrible, horrible day for the employees here. A very rough day for anyone who is close to this situation,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters after confirming that there had been deaths.
At least 600 employees work at the complex, known as “Miller Valley,” although it is unclear how many were actually at the location during the shooting.
Staff members at the facility were alerted about the shooting via text and email by the company.
Milwaukee police asked that people stay clear of the area and that no helicopters or drones be flown over the site for “officer safety purposes.”
One woman tweeted: “I can’t steer clear when I live near there. What is going on? I’ve never seen so many MPD come in one place.”
Live video showed an officer in body armor retrieving an assault rifle from a car. Emergency crews were continuing to arrive at the scene nearly two hours after the initial call to police.
Before Wednesday's shooting, there had been three mass killings nationwide in 2020, with 12 total victims. All have been shootings. In 2019, there were 44 mass killings, with 224 total victims.
The Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University Mass Killings database tracks all U.S. homicides since 2006 involving four or more people killed over 24 hours regardless of weapon, location, victim-offender relationship or motive.
The last mass shooting in the Milwaukee area was in August 2012, when white supremacist Wade Michael Page fatally shot six people and wounded four others at a Sikh temple in suburban Oak Creek. Page killed himself after being wounded in a shootout with police. The worst mass shooting in the area in the past 20 years was in 2005, when seven people were killed and four wounded at a church service in Brookfield, a Milwaukee suburb. The shooter killed himself.
According to Gun Violence Archive, this shooting is the U.S.’s 47th mass shooting in 2020.
Several other buildings in the area were locked down, including a Wisconsin Humane Society facility, a Harley-Davidson facility and a nearby school.
Multiple agencies responded to the scene, including the Milwaukee police and fire departments; Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office; the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“Miller Valley” features a 160-year-old brewery, with a packaging center that fills thousands of cans and bottles every minute and a distribution center the size of five football fields.
The facility is also home to corporate customer service, finance, human resources and engineering. Tours take people to underground caves where beer was once stored, a saloon with intricate woodwork, a stein hall with stained glass windows, a champagne room meeting hall with leaded glass windows, and an outdoor beer garden that can hold 300 people.
This story will be updated with more information as it becomes available.
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