MIDDLETON, Wis. (AP) — The suspect in a workplace shooting that seriously injured three people this week had seen his concealed-carry permit revoked and was unable to legally purchase a firearm, the police said on Friday.
Middleton Police Chief Chuck Foulke said the gunman, 43-year-old Anthony Tong, had “contact” with police in South Dakota in 2004 that involved a mental-health issue. Foulke didn’t give details concerning the incident in South Dakota, but he cautioned against concluding that Tong’s mental health contributed to the shooting at WTS Paradigm in Middleton on Wednesday.
Foulke said the police still don’t know what was the motive in the attack. Tong, who had worked at the company since April 2017 and had no criminal history in the state, was fatally shot by the police officers who responded to the attack.
The police chief said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is tracking down the origin of the 9mm semiautomatic pistol used in the attack.
Authorities also said on Friday that the conditions of the three workers who were seriously injured had improved. The status of the woman and two men has gone from serious to fair. They are being treated at University Hospital in Madison, according to UW Health. A fourth employee suffered a graze wound during the attack. Their names haven’t been released.
Police don’t know if the victims were targeted or shot at random.
Officers were called to WTS Paradigm in Middleton, a Madison suburb of about 17,440 people, just before 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Foulke said officers arrived within 8 minutes of receiving emergency calls and found a man wielding a semiautomatic pistol. Foulke said the man was also carrying extra magazines.
Two Middleton officers and two Dane County sheriff’s deputies exchanged gunfire with Tong, killing him. The officers and deputies were not hurt, according to police.
WTS Paradigm makes software for the building-products industry. A Wisconsin State Journal profile from 2014 listed company employment at about 145 workers and noted the company was then looking to move to a larger site.
The company has posted You Tube videos depicting a loose atmosphere in an office featuring a breakroom that resembles a bar, a ping-pong table and a shuffleboard table, and workers in jeans and sweatshirts.
One video depicts an office Olympics in which workers compete by pedaling themselves around in their chairs and toss garbage in wastebaskets. Another video touts the company’s charity contributions, including donations to the Madison Children’s Museum, the American Diabetes Association and Habitat for Humanity.