The shooting occurred at a sprawling complex that includes a mix of corporate offices and brewing facilities in the US city of Milwaukee.

Police and emergency officials work at an active shooter scene at the Molson Coors headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, February 26, 2020.
Police and emergency officials work at an active shooter scene at the Molson Coors headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, February 26, 2020. (Reuters)

An employee opened fire on Wednesday at Milwaukee's Molson Coors complex, killing five fellow workers before taking his own life, police said.

The gunman was identified as a 51-year-old Milwaukee man who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

"There were five individuals who went to work today, just like everybody goes to work, and they thought they were going to go to work, finish their day and return to their families. They didn't and tragically they never will," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said.

Authorities offered no immediate motive for the attack and did not release details about the shooter or how the shooting unfolded.

None of the victims was identified. Police said they were still contacting relatives as of early evening. No one was wounded beyond those who were killed.

Officers were working to clear the more than 20 buildings in the complex where more than 1,000 people work. Police Chief Alfonso Morales said authorities believe the shooter operated alone and that the threat was over.

President Donald Trump addressed the shooting before speaking at the White House about steps his administration is taking to combat the coronavirus.

"Our hearts break for them and their loved ones," the president said. "We send our condolences. We will be with them, and it's a terrible thing, a terrible thing."

The shooting occurred at a sprawling complex that includes a mix of corporate offices and brewing facilities. At least 600 people work at the complex, which is widely known in the Milwaukee area as "Miller Valley," a reference to the Miller Brewing Co. that is now part of Molson Coors.

James Boyles told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his wife, Lasonya Ragdales, works at Molson Coors in the claims department. She was texting from inside the facility and told her husband that there was an active shooter and she was locked in a room with a bunch of co-workers, the Journal Sentinel reported.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers was on his way to the scene. Attorney General Josh Kaul called the shooting “gut-wrenching."

"Miller Valley" features a 160-year-old brewery, with a packaging centre that fills thousands of cans and bottles every minute and a distribution centre the size of five football fields. A massive red Miller sign towers over the complex and is a well-known symbol in Milwaukee, where beer and brewing are intertwined in the city's history.

The facility is also home to corporate customer service, finance, human resources and engineering. Tours take people to underground caves where beer was once stored, a saloon with intricate woodwork, a stein hall with stained-glass windows, a champagne room meeting hall with leaded-glass windows, and an outdoor beer garden that can hold 300 people.

Before Wednesday's shooting, there had been three mass killings nationwide in 2020, with 12 total victims. All have been shootings. In 2019, there were 44 mass killings, with 224 total victims.

The last mass shooting in the Milwaukee area was in August 2012. when white supremacist Wade Michael Page fatally shot six people and wounded four others at a Sikh temple in suburban Oak Creek. 

Page killed himself after being wounded in a shootout with police. The worst mass shooting in the area in the past 20 years was in 2005, when seven people were killed and four wounded at a church service in Brookfield, a Milwaukee suburb. The shooter killed himself.

Source: AP