A heavily armed man opened fire inside a software company in Middleton Wednesday morning, wounding four co-workers before he was shot by police.
The Madison man died later at a hospital.
Three of the wounded at WTS Paradigm were transported to the University of Wisconsin hospital trauma center and were in serious condition while a fourth victim who was grazed by a gunshot also sought treatment at a hospital.
Middleton Police Chief Charles Foulke said the shooter was armed with a pistol and extra ammunition and had two Middleton police officers and two Dane County Sheriff’s deputies not stormed in to take him down there could have been much more bloodshed.
The shooter’s name will be released by the Dane County Medical Examiner after notification of next of kin.
The call came in around 10:30 a.m. for an “active shooter” at 1850 Deming Way where there are a number of businesses including WTS Paradigm.
Officers arrived at the building within about 4 minutes of being dispatched.
At 10:34 a.m., according to audio scanner traffic provided by Broadcastify, an officer radioed to dispatch that he is “in contact” with the suspect. At 10:35 a.m., the officer radioed, “Shots fired! Shots fired!”
At 10:37 a.m., according to Broadcastify, the officer told dispatchers “subject is down” and called for a ballistic shield so officers could approach the suspect.
The building was then cleared and declared safe; all lockdowns had been lifted by 1 p.m. Police were setting up a family reunification area at a nearby hotel.
The police chief declined to answer questions following the 1:15 p.m. press conference but said he would meet with media later this afternoon.
WMTV morning anchor Tim Elliot said on the air that a friend is a WTS Paradigm employee who saw the shooting.
“He was in a front conference room when a co-worker of his opens fire,” Elliot said. “He tells us he saw three or maybe four people get shot.”
Elliot said his friend ran from the building.
A woman known as NurseKelsey on Twitter sent several tweets about her husband who works at the business. She wrote that her husband, who was not named, ran out of the conference room when the shooting started. He saw the shooter standing in the middle of the room and the man who ran out of the room right behind him was shot in the shoulder and abdomen.
Judy Lahmers, a business analyst at WTS Paradigm, said she was working at her desk when she heard shots which sounded “like somebody was dropping boards on the ground, really loud.”
Lahmers said she ran out of the building and hid behind a car. She said the building’s glass entrance door shattered.
“I’m not looking back, I’m running as fast as I can. You just wonder, ‘Do you hide or do you run?’” said Lahmers.
The building also houses Esker Software.
Gabe Geib, a customer advocate at Esker Software, said he was working at his desk when he heard a couple of shots coming from next door which “sounded like claps.” He said he then saw people running “full sprint” away from the building.
“We knew at that point that something was going down. A ton of people were running across the street right in front of us,” Geib said. More than an hour after the shooting, he and his colleagues were huddled in place in their cafeteria, away from windows.
Marlene Mecum, who works at IMEG Corp. next to WTS Paradigm, said she heard several gunshots. She and her co-workers closed the doors and sheltered in place.
When she and her co-workers were finally able to leave “we saw one person that was really bloodied escorted out to one of the ambulances.”
“I’m always scared about (violence in) schools because I have kids in schools but you never think about it happening in businesses,” said Mecum.
According to Middleton Police radio traffic, there were at least “two officers involved in this shooting.” Dozens of officers then converged on the area.
Workers were evacuated and taken to a nearby hotel.
Madison schools emailed parents and said: “Police have contained the situation in Middleton, and again, there is no threat to our schools.”
WTS Paradigm was founded in 1999 and sells a variety of products including mobile technology to sell home improvement projects and engineering software. At 12:17 p.m. someone posted this message on WTS Paradigm’s Facebook Page: Thoughts and prayers for your company employees ….No one deserves this kind of violence …
At 12:30 two police snipers remained on the roof of a building adjacent to the WTS Paradigm building.
The FBI and state Department of Criminal Investigation were helping in the investigation.
Joe Taschler, Patrick Marley and Mike Johnson of the Journal Sentinel staff, Keegan Kyle of USA Today Network-Wisconsin and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
Read or Share this story: https://jsonl.in/2NroGD6