An investigation is underway to determine the motive behind an attack that left four injured before police claimed the life of a gunman who opened fire inside of an office building on the outskirts of Madison, Wisconsin, early Wednesday, September 19.
Members of the FBI and the regional office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted some 50 police squad cars that were dispatched to the scene of an active shooting reported in Middleton shortly before 10:30 a.m. Up to 34 commercial establishments populating the neighboring Greenway Station shopping center were affected by the lockdown that authorities ordered upon their arrival at the location of the 1800 block of Deming Way.
Accounts from witnesses at the scene tell of chaos breaking loose after employees at the WTS Paradigm and Esker Software companies realized that the thudding shots that could be heard blasting throughout the ground floor were rounds from a firearm. The Dane County 911 communications center reports that survivors recalled hearing shots being let off as early as 10 a.m. Dozens are said to have immediately scattered from the vicinity after making it past the shattered glass lying about the building's glass entrance.
The Middleton police utilized social media in order to alert citizens inhabiting the city of 17,000 to "lock all doors, stay inside and shelter in place until further notice," as they worked to neutralize the situation and secure the area.When it was all said and done, five people were transported to nearby medical facilities. Among them were three victims who were treated at nearby University Hospital for gunshot wounds, and a fourth individual who was reportedly grazed checked into St. Mary's Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. University Hospital has confirmed that their personnel were also responsible for taking in the suspect, who had been fatally wounded in an exchange of gunfire with responding officers. Apart from the slain attacker, two have been declared stable and one remains in critical condition, according to a spokesperson with University Hospital.
"We have reason to believe the suspect was heavily armed with a lot of extra ammunition, with a lot of extra magazines," said Middleton Police Chief Charles Foulke during a press conference held to update the public on the morning tragedy, according to Action News 2.
Investigators have thus far refrained from releasing the identity or any further details about the gunman, who is believed to have acted alone in the shooting.