Gun violence in the US

Gunman who hurt three in shooting at US software firm is killed by police

‘I’m running as fast as I can,’ a witness said after hearing shots at WTS Paradigm in Middleton, Wisconsin. ‘You just wonder, do you hide or do you run?’

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 September, 2018, 4:10am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 September, 2018, 5:10am

A man who injured three people when he shot up a software company in a suburb of Madison, Wisconsin on Wednesday has been killed by police, authorities said.

The attacker had been critically hurt during the late-morning shooting at WTS Paradigm in Middleton, and later died, Middleton Police Chief Chuck Foulke said. Three other people were wounded during the attack, Foulke said.

City Administrator Mike Davis initially said four people were injured during the shooting in Middleton, about 90 miles (145 kilometres) west of Milwaukee. But he and Foulke said the correct number is three, not including the suspect.

Foulke said officers were alerted to an active shooter situation at about 10.25am Eastern Time (11.25pm Hong Kong Time). He did not release details about the suspect or how the attack unfolded. He said officers were still interviewing witnesses.

Judy Lahmers, a business analyst at WTS Paradigm, said she was working at her desk when she heard shots at about 10am. She said it 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 said she knew that one colleague had been grazed by a shot but was OK. She didn’t have any other information. She said the shooting was “totally unexpected. We’re all software people. We have a good group”.

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The Dane County dispatch centre said shots were reported around 10am at the building, which also houses Esker Software. Police and multiple ambulances have responded.

Gabe Geib, a customer advocate at Esker Software, said he was working at his desk when he heard a couple of shots coming from next door which “sounded like claps”. He said he then saw people running “full sprint” away from the building.

“We knew at that point that something was going down. A tonne of people were running across the street right in front of us,” he said. More than an hour after the shooting, he and his colleagues were huddled in place in their cafeteria, away from windows.

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.

At least 40 people were gathered in the hotel’s car park, waiting to be interviewed by police.

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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 on Wednesday.

The shopping centre next to the building, Greenway Station, was locked down at the direction of police, according to the centre’s general manager Corey Kautzky. There are 34 stores and restaurants in the centre that were temporarily closed, Kautzky said.