By TODD RICHMOND and SCOTT BAUER
MIDDLETON, Wis. (AP) – The lone suspect in a southeast Wisconsin workplace shooting Wednesday morning has died after being shot by responding officers, according to police.
Middleton Police Chief Chuck Foulkes said officers were alerted to an active shooter situation at software company WTS Paradigm around 10:25 a.m. Foulkes said the suspect was fatally shot by officers.
Foulke didn’t release details about the suspect or how the attack unfolded. He said officers were still interviewing witnesses, many of whom fled the office building or hid inside after gunshots rang out.
Foulke said three people were injured in the shooting, though the City Administrator Mike Davis said earlier that the number of injured was four.
A total of five patients were taken to hospitals in nearby Madison following the shooting. According to the hospitals, one patient was in critical condition Wednesday afternoon, two were in serious condition, and one had injuries that weren’t life-threatening. The condition of the other wasn’t released.
Police haven’t released details about how the shooting unfolded, but witnesses said they heard gunfire around 10 a.m.
Judy Lahmers, a business analyst at WTS Paradigm, said she was working at her desk when she heard what 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?'” she told The Associated Press.
She said she knew that one co-worker had been grazed by a bullet but was OK. She didn’t have any other information about the shooting, but said it was “totally unexpected. We’re all software people. We have a good group.”
Police conducted a secondary search of the area Wednesday afternoon to ensure there were no more victims or suspects, and discovered some people were still hiding in the building, which also houses Esker Software.
Gabe Geib, a customer advocate at Esker Software, said he was working at his desk when he heard what “sounded like claps.” He said he then saw people running away from the building at “full sprint.”
“We knew at that point that something was going down. A ton of people were running across the street right in front of us,” he said.
Geib said he and his colleagues were still huddled in their cafeteria, away from windows, more than an hour after the shooting. Jeff Greene, who also works at Esker, said police told those gathered in the cafeteria to go a nearby hotel to make a statement about what they saw.
Three yellow school buses full of more than 100 people, including witnesses, were unloaded at a hotel about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the office building. Some people hugged as they were reunited with loved ones. Others stopped to pet a dog that had been brought by someone picking up a worker.
WTS Paradigm makes software for the building products industry. A Wisconsin State Journal profile from 2014 listed company employment at about 145 employees, and noted the company was looking to move to a larger location at the time. The company’s website was down Wednesday.
The shopping center next to the building, Greenway Station, was locked down at the direction of police, according to the center’s general manager Corey Kautzky. There are 34 stores and restaurants in the center that were temporarily closed, Kautzky said.
Middleton is about 90 miles (145 kilometers) west of Milwaukee.