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Update: Four injured, no fatalities in Middleton workplace shooting

September 19, 2018

Four people have been shot, none fatally, in a workplace shooting in Middleton Wednesday morning, City Administrator Mike Davis said. The shooter has also been shot, Davis said.

“It appears the situation is stable now,” Davis said. “The bad news is that there were four injured by the suspect.”

Davis, who said he got his information from Middleton Police Chief Charles Foulke, said the suspect was critically injured and taken to an area hospital, as were the four victims.

Davis did not know the extent of the victims’ injuries, or whether the suspect was shot by police or the injury was self inflicted.

UW Hospital spokeswoman Lisa Brunette confirmed that four patients have been brought there. St. Mary’s Hospital also is treating one patient with injuries that were not life threatening, spokeswoman Kim Sveum said.

One woman could be heard screaming as she was led from the building, calling it was “a devastating loss.”

The shooting occurred about 10:30 a.m. at 1850 Deming Way, which houses companies that include Esker Inc. and WTS Paradigm.

A witness to the shooting who works for WTS Paradigm but asked not to be named told the Wisconsin State Journal the shooter was a company employee.

The witness was moved safely to a nearby hotel after police arrived at the scene. The witness, his voice still shaking, said he texted his wife “Oh my God” just after the shooting began at 10:28 a.m. and sheltered in place in a room, where he heard about a dozen gunshots from what sounded like a handgun before police arrived.

He said he kept thinking, “The walls in the office aren’t thick enough.”

He didn’t survey the scene in the office as he was being escorted out but said he saw one woman with a shoulder wound being taken to an ambulance.

“She was definitely in pain,” he said.

WTS Paradigm office has about 160 employees at that location, he said.

Founded in 1999, WTS Paradigm makes software for the building products industry. It was ranked by Inc. magazine in 2014 and 2015 among the nation’s fastest-growing businesses.

The company’s website was not working Wednesday afternoon.

Lance Muzzillo, who works at Sentry Insurance on the fourth floor of the building, said the shooting happened on the first floor. He was on a conference call when an announcement was made over the office public address system that no one was to leave the building.

“I didn’t hear anything,” Muzzillo said. “It was quick. We were on lockdown for maybe 45 minutes and then we had Dane County Sheriff’s officers come up and account for everybody on our floor and then escort us down to this spot.”

He was standing with about 40 other employees waiting for buses to take them to Hilton Garden Inn, 1801 Deming Way, where they then would be given rides home

At least 40 police squad cars and ambulances from multiple jurisdictions responded to the scene. The Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office said nobody from that office has been sent to the scene as of 11:10 a.m. The medical examiner is called in if there are fatalities.

Employees at another building close to the shooting site said they saw people running out of the building where the shooting was reported.

Andrew King, an employee at TrafficCast, 1800 Deming Way, said he saw a man carrying a handgun inside the 1850 Deming Way building.

“I saw a dude walking with a gun inside the building,” King said. “He was just walking with it, and I didn’t see any shooting.”

A hotel inside the police perimeter, the Marriot Residence Inn, had about 35 to 40 people milling about the entrance, but it wasn’t known if the people had come from the building where the shooting took place.

Priya Allu, a woman who works in the building where the shooting took place, spoke to her husband, Mukesh Allu, after getting out of the building.

“She said she heard sounds like hammers hitting something, but it was gunshots,” Allu said.

The Middleton Cross Plains School District put all of its schools on lockdown Wednesday morning as a precautionary measure, district spokesman Perry Hibner said.

The order, in effect for schools closest to the shooting for 90 minutes, was lifted around noon.

Middleton Mayor Gurdip Brar told the State Journal he was in a staff meeting with Police Chief Charles Foulke when the chief left the meeting shortly before 11 a.m.

Brar wasn’t told at the time what had happened, so he found out about an active shooter in the city from CNN.

“My heart goes out to the families of anyone who may have been hurt,” Brar said. “The city will do everything we can to help them in this situation.”

State Journal reporters Dean Mosiman, Barry Adams, Chris Rickert, Kelly Meyerhofer, Matthew DeFour, Mark Sommerhauser and Chris Hubbuch contributed to this report.

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