CHICAGO (CBS) — Public officials from Milwaukee to Chicago and around the nation offered condolences and grief Wednesday after a shooting left six people dead at the Molson Coors brewery in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said it was a tragic day for the city and the state of Wisconsin.
“There were five individuals who went to work today, just like everybody goes to work, and they thought they were going to go to work, finish their day, and return to their families,” Barrett said. “They didn’t, and tragically, they never will.”
Barrett also noted that the brewery has been part of the Miller family and the city of Milwaukee for 165 years, and this is the worst thing ever to transpire there.
Milwaukee Ald. Russell Stamper (15th), whose district includes the plant, called the situation “super sad.”
“It’s a horrible situation, and I’m just here to see what I can do and handle support,” Stamper said. “It’s just sad.”
Stamper also issued a statement:
“I join my colleagues, the residents of the 15th Aldermanic District and the entire City of Milwaukee family in offering sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims of today’s horrific mass workplace shooting at Molson Coors (also commonly called MillerCoors).
“If you can take a moment, please offer comfort to the loved ones of the victims, and also offer prayers and support for the workers of Molson Coors. The coming days and weeks ahead will be unimaginably challenging for them.”
Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes lamented that mass shootings happen with such frequency in the U.S. He said this the 11th mass shooting since 2004.
“This is seething that we should never come to accept in society,” he said.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said the shooting was an attack on and a tragedy for the whole state.
“The first lady and I will be praying tonight together for the lives that have been lost. It is a tragedy for Milwaukee, yes, but it is a tragedy for the entire state of Wisconsin,” Evers said. “Wisconsin is a strong state. What happens in Milwaukee impacts people all across the state from Cornucopia to Kenosha.”
Numerous other local lawmakers issued statements of grief and shock.
As quoted by CBS 58 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin state Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) said: “I am profoundly saddened to learn about the number of lives lost today at a Molson Coors facility. While we wait to understand the motive behind this tragedy, many of us are again shaking our heads in disbelief. We are forced to question if this was preventable? Were there warning signs? For now, however, we will humbly mourn the loss of life, support our neighbors and their families, and work to get through this difficult time.”
Also quoted by CBS 58, U.S. Sen. Rob Johnson (R-Wisconsin) said: “We are heartbroken by the senseless killings in Milwaukee today. Thanks to the first responders who bravely put themselves in harm’s way. Our condolences go out to everyone in the community affected by today’s horrific events.”
Several other lawmakers issued tweets.
Gun violence has taken too many lives in Milwaukee and the mass shooting today is heartbreaking.
I want to thank the first responders who ran into harm's way and saved lives. My office is standing by to help the #MKE community in the wake of this tragedy.
— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) February 26, 2020
My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by today's tragedy in Milwaukee. @MolsonCoors is a part of our community and we are a part of theirs. My heart goes out to everyone affected during this unimaginable time.
— Evan Goyke (@RepGoyke) February 26, 2020
My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who were killed or injured in the devastating workplace shooting in Milwaukee.
— LaTonya Johnson (@StateSenLaTonya) February 26, 2020
I am monitoring the situation at MillerCoors in Milwaukee closely. My prayers are with the victims. Thank you to law enforcement for their response and continued efforts.
— Bryan Steil (@RepBryanSteil) February 26, 2020
Back in Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a tweet that she was “heartsick” about the shooting.
I’m heartsick as our neighbors in Milwaukee grieve for the lives lost in today's @MolsonCoors shooting. From a street corner in Chicago to a workplace in Milwaukee, communities across the country suffer from gun violence. It's an epidemic that demands real action from Congress.
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) February 26, 2020
Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said officers arrived at the plant 2:08 p.m. for a call of a shooting. They found a 51-year-old Milwaukee man, who was believed to be the gunman, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Morales said.
There were five more adult victims – all of whom were employees at the plant, Morales said.