The suspected gunman who killed himself and five other employees at the Molson Coors Beverage Co. in Milwaukee had a long-running feud with a co-worker that erupted before his rampage began, according to media reports.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel identified the shooter as Anthony N. Ferrill, 51, an electrician who worked at the sprawling brewing campus for 17 years, according to sources and employment records cited by the paper.
A co-worker told the newspaper that Ferrill believed he was being discriminated against because he was African-American. The source said he frequently watched movies on his phone during the day, leading to disputes between him and another electrician, who was one of Wednesday’s victims.
At one point, the pair accused each other of stealing tools and tampering with computer equipment in their respected offices, the paper said.
Ferrill also believed co-workers bugged a computer inside his home and moved chairs around, the paper reported. The Milwaukee Police Department and the city did not respond to messages and calls from Fox News.
Authorities said a gunman killed five people at the Molson Coors facility Wednesday and then died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The chaos sent the more than 1,000 workers on the campus at the time looking for shelter.
The company notified employees of the workplace shooting via email and text message alerts just before 2:10 p.m.
“There are five individuals who went to work today, just like everybody goes to work,” Mayor Tom Barrett said Wednesday night. “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.”
Police officers, FBI agents and law enforcement personnel from various federal agencies responded to the scene in the Miller Valley neighborhood.
Co-workers of Ferrill reacted with surprise that he was the shooter, the newspaper reported.
“He was a very good electrician, a very good worker and I couldn’t say anything bad about the guy,” said Phillip Rauch Sr., who worker with Ferrill for 15 years before retiring in April. “Every time I worked with him he was always in a good mood.”
A co-worker told the Journal Sentinel he saw Ferrill earlier this week.
“I never had a clue. I talked to him a couple of days ago and he seemed fine to me,” Giese said. “I had no idea that there was a problem, that somebody could snap like that.”
Molson Coors corporate offices will be closed for the rest of the week and the iconic 160-year-old brewery will stay closed for an extended period, company CEO Gavin Hattersley said.
A vigil for the victims will be held at The Ridge Community Church at 7 p.m. Thursday, located a few miles from the Molson Coors campus. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers ordered flags in the state to be lowered at half-staff Thursday.
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