By IVAN MORENO
MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Wisconsin man who wounded four co-workers when he opened fire at a software company last year said in a note that he wanted “to right a grave wrong,” according to documents released Monday.
The revelation was among the trove of documents investigators released after prosecutors announced the four officers who fatally shot Anthony Tong on Sept. 19 were justified in killing him. State investigators also released the body camera footage of the shootout between the officers and Tong, 43.
Tong, a WTS Paradigm employee, opened fire in the company’s Middleton headquarters and wounded four of his co-workers, three seriously. Minutes after the attack began, a team of Dane County Sheriff’s deputies and Middleton police officers ran into the office and began screaming at Tong to drop his weapon before trading gunshots with him. At one point, a Middleton police officer says to a colleague, “I think I shot him. Several times.”
By then, Tong was laying on the ground near a couch in what appears to be the company’s break room.
Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, who said the officers would not be charged, said Tong’s motive remains unclear and it’s possible that investigators will never know. Ozanne said Tong had a long history of schizophrenia and wasn’t allowed to own guns, but he purchased the parts to build one and avoided a background check.
In Tong’s suicide note, he said that “with hope lost I must inevitably converge to the actions that I take today. To right a grave wrong.” He starts the note saying, “It is not a gun problem. It is not a mental illness problem. It is a problem with culture, and more deeply of humanity. For hate begets hate.”
Days after the shooting, Isaac Hall, a former employee of WTS Paradigm, told the Wisconsin State Journal that Tong never spoke to anyone and never smiled. Hall, who left for a new job a week before the shooting, said he worked about three cubicles from Tong. Hall said when he looked over, Tong would stare back at him.
“His head would actually follow me and watch me as I go,” Hall said. “He kind of creeped me out a little bit.”