WTS Paradigm CEO: ‘Brave response’ by police ‘saved many lives’ during shooting incident
Speaking with reporters for the first time since a gunman opened fire at his company last week and injured four people, WTS Paradigm CEO Nate Herbst on Tuesday praised the police response to the incident and said he has appreciated the support the company has received from the public.
“I cannot tell you how many people have reached out to myself and our employees to express support,” Herbst said, speaking to media outside the state Capitol. “Please know it means the world to us. It’s an incredible sense of comfort during this tough time. We can’t thank law enforcement enough for their quick and brave response. This group of first responders ran into danger and saved many lives last week.”
Authorities last week said Anthony Y. Tong, 43, of Madison, went into the WTS office at 1850 Deming Way in Middleton where he worked and fired several rounds at co-workers. Tong seriously injured three people, and a fourth was grazed by gunfire.
Tong died following a shootout with police. Police searched Tong’s home on Madison’s Far West Side and found a large cache of weapon parts and ammunition, despite Tong not being legally allowed to possess them because of a prior history of mental illness. It wasn’t immediately clear how Tong got the weaponry.
Herbst said the company was not aware of Tong’s mental health history but said he passed a background check when he was hired. He said he didn’t know Tong, other than a few occasions when he saw him in passing at the office.
He said WTS had not had active shooter training and declined to say whether it would be offered in the future.
“Today is an opportunity for our WTS employees to come together to talk, to share and to support each other in the healing process,” Herbst said. “We’ll also touch a little on the future of our company. But the focus today is mainly about healing and supporting each other.”
Herbst said that of the three most seriously injured workers, two are now recovering at home, while the third is still recovering in a hospital but is doing well. He asked for continued privacy for them.
Herbst said the company would have grief counselors available on site and that WTS was “also allowing our employees to re-engage back in the workplace at their own schedule and pace. We want them to be healthy.”