Molson Coors mass shooting

Mass shooting at US brewery headquarters

February 27, 2020
By Alana House

Five people have been killed in an mass shooting at the headquarters Molson Coors Brewing in Wisconsin, United States.

The gunman, Anthony Ferrill, also died by suicide.

Authorities have offered no official motive for the attack. However, staff say the 51-year-old employee had been involved in a dispute with a co-worker. He was reportedly dressed in his uniform at the time of the attack and carrying two firearms, one equipped with a silencer.

The victims were Jesus Valle Jr, 33; Gennady Levshetz, 61; Trevor Wetselaar, 33; Dana Walk, 57; and Dale Hudson, 60.

Ferrill’s neighbors told News 10 he was a married father of two adult children and one younger daughter. They said he had worked at the brewery for about 15 years as an electrician. 

All the victims worked together as electricians and machinists in the complex’s powerhouse.

Molson Coors employees received company text messages and email alerts urging them to hide from the attacker.

“Find a safe place, active shooter on campus,” one of the messages read.

The city’s Mayor Tom Barrett said: “This is an unspeakable tragedy for our city.

“This is a community tragedy. There were five individuals who went to work today, just like we all go to work. They thought they were going to work and then would return to their families. They didn’t, and they tragically never will.”

More than 1000 people work at the Molson Coors headquarters, which features a 160-year-old brewery and a distribution centre the size of five football fields, plus offices for home corporate customer service, finance, human resources and engineering.

Mass shooting Molson Coors

US President Donald Trump spoke about the incident during a press conference at The White House: “Earlier today, a wicked murderer opened fire at a Molson Coors brewing company plant, taking the lives of (several) people.

“Our hearts break for them and their loved ones.”

Senator for Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin thanked emergency services for their swift response and bravery.

“Gun violence has taken too many lives in Milwaukee and the mass shooting today is heartbreaking,” Senator Baldwin tweeted.

“The vile and heinous deadly violence that was perpetrated at the brewery complex today has no place in our society and makes no sense,” local politician Russell Stamper said in a statement.

“The cold disregard for human lives and the lack of value for human life that was shown must be categorically denounced across Milwaukee, across Wisconsin and throughout our nation.”

Molson Coors chief executive officer Gavin Hattersley was attending a company conference in Texas when the shootings occurred. He is currently on his way back to Milwaukee.

“There are no words to express the deep sadness many of us are feeling right now,” Hattersley said in a statement.

“Please hold your family members tight tonight and keep the families of our fallen teammates in your thoughts.

“I am on my way to Milwaukee now because in the hours and days ahead, the most important thing is that we support and care for each other.”

He added that the Milwaukee office has been closed for the rest of the week and the brewery will “remain shut for the time being”.

Molson Coors said it was working closely with police. “Our top priority is our employees and we’ll provide updates in conjunction with the police as we are able,” the company tweeted.

National Beer Wholesalers Association President & CEO Craig Purser said: “The beer business is a family, and our hearts are heavy as we mourn the tragic loss endured today by our partners Molson Coors. Words cannot sufficiently express the sadness and sorrow we feel for the victims and their families and all of our friends at Molson Coors. Please join America’s beer distributors in keeping the Molson Coors family, the Milwaukee community and all who lost a mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son or friend in your thoughts and prayers.”

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