Dale Hudson had planned to go out for an after-work drink at a bar near Milwaukee on Wednesday. His usual Miller High Life Light was waiting on ice – but he never showed up.
The victims were Jesus Valle, 33; Gennady Levshetz, 61; Trevor Wetselaar, 33; Dana Walk, 57; and Dale Hudson, 60, police said.
They were electricians, powerhouse operators and machinists at the facility, according to Molson Coors CEO Gavin Hattersley.
“They were powerhouse operators, they were machinists and they were electricians. But more importantly, they were husbands, they were fathers and they were friends,” company CEO Gavin Hattersley said at a news conference. “They were part of the fabric of our company and our community, and we will miss them terribly.”
The shooter, identified by police as 51-year-old Anthony Ferrill, was an electrician at the company, an attorney who worked with him in the past told CNN.
Attorney Stephen Gabert, who represented Ferrill in a car accident case, described him this week as nicer than most clients and a “well-adjusted” man.
“I’m shocked if he was the shooter. He was a real nice guy,” Gabert told CNN on Wednesday before police named Ferrill. “He was an electrician there for a long time. It was his career, for 15 years maybe, I can’t say for sure.”
CNN attempted to reach Gabert again Thursday, after police identified his former client as the shooter.
The company said previously the shooter was an “active” employee at the sprawling facility. Police have not provided details on a possible motive.
More than 1,000 people were working
The first reports of gunfire came at 2:08 p.m. local time Wednesday. Minutes later, employees received texts and emails from the company warning them about the gunman.
Minutes later, employees received texts and emails from the company warning them about the gunman.
“Active shooter, find a safe place, active shooter on campus. Reply with YES to confirm receipt,” the first text read.
“Active shooter We are still on lockdown, please remain in a safe place, police are investigating. Reply with YES to confirm receipt,” another one said.
Scores of police officers, SWAT teams and FBI agents rushed to the scene and could be seen walking around the Miller Valley neighborhood, which is named after the iconic 160-year-old brewery.
First responders called it a ‘war zone’
Fire dispatch audio described a chaotic scene with first responders calling it a “war zone.”
“Start the casualty collection at this point … and let’s start working out getting some meds in here,” a voice says.
When police arrived at the scene, they screened employees and checked them off one by one before securing the area hours later and allowing employees to go home, CNN affiliate WITI said.
Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes said the incident marks the 11th mass shooting in the state since 2004.
“We are here on the scene of another American tragedy. Another senseless American tragedy. One that shouldn’t have to happen and unfortunately it’s in our backyard. And I hate to say that it is in our backyard once again,” he said.
None of the victims had been named as of Wednesday night. Hours after the shooting, police said, many employees were still inside the complex as officers continued searching through the complex and “identify who is missing.”
The corporate offices will be closed for the rest of the week and the breweries will remain closed until further notice.
“This is an unthinkable tragedy for us,” Hattersley said.
A prayer vigil for the victims was set for 7 p.m. Thursday at The Ridge Community Church, about 10 miles from the Molson Coors site.
Gov. Tony Evers ordered state and US flags lowered to half-staff Thursday “in honor of the victims of the mass shooting at the Molson Coors campus,” his office said.
A group of Lutheran Church Charities comfort dogs visited the nearby Story Elementary School, where students went on lockdown during the shooting, and will remain in Milwaukee until next week, the charities said.
Correction: This story has been updated with the correct ages of two of the victims, following an update from Milwaukee police.
CNN’s Omar Jimenez, Dave Cera, Joe Sutton and Devon Sayers contributed to this report.