Six people were killed at the “old Miller brewery” in Milwaukee after an active employee opened fire and killed five workers before shooting himself. Milwaukee police said they responded to reports of a shooting in the area just after 2 p.m. on Wednesday. When they arrived, they found the five victims and the gunman, a 51-year-old Milwaukee man who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The employees were powerhouse operators, machinists and electricians, Molson Coors Beverage Co. Chief Executive Gavin Hattersley told reporters during a press conference Thursday. The motive of the shooting and the background how the incident incurred, are not clear yet.
The shooting occurred at a sprawling complex with 20 buildings that includes a mix of corporate offices and brewing facilities. The site features the 160-year-old brewery former Miller brewery, which was bought in 2002 by South African Breweries to form SABMiller. In 2008 SABMiller joined forces in the United States with Molson Coors and formed MillerCoors. In 2016, after the purchase of SABMiller by AB InBev, ownership of MillerCoors was totally transferred to Molson Coors.
At the time of the shooting there were more than 1,000 employees at the Milwaukee headquarters.
"There are no words to express the deep sadness many of us are feeling right now," Hattersley said in a statement. "The most important thing is that we support and care for each other." Molson Coors’ Milwaukee office will be closed for the rest of the week and the brewery shuttered “for the time being”.
Speaking at a White House press conference US president Donald Trump expressed his condolences. “It is a terrible thing. Terrible thing. So our hearts go out to the people of Wisconsin and to the families,” Trump said, calling the gunman a "wicked murderer."