MILWAUKEE (CN) – Police on Thursday identified the names of the six people killed in a mass shooting at a Milwaukee brewery Wednesday afternoon, including five victims and the shooter who died by suicide.
Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales identified the gunman as Anthony Ferrill, 51, who was an employee at the 20-building Molson Coors brewery campus in a part of Milwaukee’s near west side known as Miller Valley. Ferrill was a journeyman union electrician who had spent the last 17 years working at Molson Coors.
A clear motive for the killing has yet to be officially established, as Morales said Thursday that the reasons for the shooting are still under investigation. However, sources have told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the incident was spurred by a longstanding argument Ferrill had with a coworker which boiled over into violence.
Details of the type of firearm used in the shooting have also not been confirmed, but reports have indicated that Ferrill was armed with two handguns, one of which had a silencer.
The five victims were Jesus Valle, Jr., 33, Gennady Levshetz, 61, Trevor Wetselaar, 33, Dana Walk, 57, and Dale Hudson, 60. Valle and Wetselaar were Milwaukee residents, Levshetz was a resident of Mequon, Walk was a resident of Delafield, and Hudson was a resident of Waukesha.
All five were brewery employees, either powerhouse operators, machinists or electricians, and with the exception of Wetselaar had all been employed there for at least five years.
Molson Coors CEO and President Gavin Hattersley mourned the five victims Thursday, saying “they were part of the fabric of our company and our community and we’ll miss them terribly.”
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett also appeared at the press conference, calling for privacy for the victims’ families and for the Milwaukee community at large to come together in light of the “sudden, tragic, unexpected, unbelievable loss of life,” but the mayor called it “premature to speculate on anything” regarding further details of the shooting.
Governor Tony Evers ordered flags around the state to be hung at half-mast Thursday. Shortly after the shooting, which took place Wednesday afternoon around 2:00 pm, the governor put out a statement saying “Our hearts go out to the families of those whose lives were senselessly taken today…as we grapple with yet another act of gun violence that will have long-lasting consequences for this community and our state.”
President Donald Trump briefly addressed the shooting Wednesday at the top of a press conference on the spread of the coronavirus, lamenting that “earlier today, a wicked murderer opened fire at a Molson Coors Brewery Co. plant, taking the lives of five people…our hearts break for them and their loved ones.”
There have been no less than a dozen mass shootings in Wisconsin since 2004 according to the modern definition, including two in the Milwaukee area in 2012.
In August, Wade Michael Page, 40, opened fire at a Sikh temple in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek, killing six and wounding four before taking his own life after being shot by police.
Eleven weeks later in October, Radcliffe Haughton, 45, killed four, including his estranged wife and himself, and wounded four more at a salon in Brookfield, another Milwaukee suburb.