Milwaukee Police Search House in Wake of Brewery Shooting

Gunman's Home Searched for Clues

AP News
February 27, 2020 - 4:26 pm
Police are seen outside of a house near Potomac and Courtland after a shooting at Molson Coors, Wednesday Feb. 26, 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

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By GRETCHEN EHLKE and TODD RICHMOND Associated Press

 

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Police searched a home on Milwaukee's north side Thursday as they hunted for clues about why an employee at one of the nation's largest breweries gunned down five co-workers before taking his own life.

The house, a one-story home with a massive jungle-gym in the backyard, was roped off with crime scene tape Thursday morning. A squad car sat in the driveway and a police van was parked at the curb. Investigators could be seen entering the house. Neighbor Erna Roenspies, 82, said the man who lives in the house has worked at the brewery for 15 years as an electrician.

The shooting happened Wednesday afternoon at Molson Coors Brewing Co.'s massive brewery complex in Milwaukee, which employs around 1,000 people. Authorities have said the shooter was a 51-year-old man from Milwaukee but haven't released his name. Molson Coors CEO Gavin Hattersley said the shooter was “an active brewery employee.”

Authorities have offered no motive for the attack and have not released details about how the shooting unfolded. They also have not released the names of the victims. Police planned a news conference for late Thursday afternoon.

The 82-acre (33.-hectare) brewery complex includes a mix of corporate offices and brewing facilities and employs more than 1,000 people.

It's widely known in the Milwaukee area as “Miller Valley," a reference to the Miller Brewing Co. that is now part of Molson Coors. A massive red Miller sign that towers over the complex is a well-known symbol in a city where beer and brewing are intertwined with local history. The complex features a 160-year-old brewery, a packaging center that fills thousands of cans and bottles every minute and a distribution center the size of five football fields.

Brewery Workers Local 9 of the United Auto Workers, which represents about 400 workers at the complex, issued a statement Thursday calling the shooting a “senseless tragedy" and alerting members that grief counselors would be available at their union hall in West Allis, a Milwaukee suburb.