Community Honors Shooting Victims
300 people, local pastors, government officials attend vigil for those killed at Molson Coors.
Community members, local pastors and government officials gathered Sunday night in front of Milwaukee City Hall to honor the victims of Wednesday’s deadly shooting at the Molson Coors brewery complex.
According to the Milwaukee Police Department, nearly 300 people were in attendance for the event, called Milwaukee Strong: A Vigil to Unite and Heal, to reflect on the tragedy and pay their respects.
A gunman opened fire Wednesday, killing five people before taking his own life, according to police.
Those who attended held on to white burning candles as people spoke and prayed over the community and the families of the victims.
“Tonight, we mourn and find comfort in each other. We stand united to remember and honor the victims. We hold their families in our hearts. The parents, the spouses, children, siblings and friends who know carry the weight of losing a loved one,” Baldwin said. “Tonight, we stand together, Milwaukee strong, to let them know that we are with them to help them carry that weight.”
Different organizations, like the American Red Cross, who supplied hot chocolate, coffee, and water during the vigil, came out to support those who have been impacted.
Tim Hetzner is the CEO and president of Lutheran Church Charities, an organization he started in 2008 that provides crisis and disaster response to communities in crisis. A part of that response is comfort dog ministry. During the vigil, golden retrievers were lined up with vests on that said “please pet me.”
Hetzner said people have had mixed reactions when they pet one of the golden retrievers. He said they’ve talked, laughed and even shed a few tears with people as they process the tragedy.
“It depends on how they were affected by the shootings,” Hetzner said. “Some people weren’t affected at all by the shootings, but it brought up other memories of other traumatic events that they’ve had.”
He said they want to bring comfort for those who might be struggling.
“When people pet a dog they relax, and when they relax they can talk about what’s going on and what they are thinking. Which is a key part to heal,” he said.
Milwaukee resident Kristina Paris said she was coming out of a movie when she heard the news of the shooting.
“As those details unfold, you just get more and more horrified,” Paris said. “It’s just like, ‘Another one? How can we allow this to happen?'”
Paris said that sadly she wasn’t surprised there was a mass shooting in Milwaukee and that these events are becoming too common.
“We all have to do something to end this. To individuals, to leadership, everywhere, it has to stop,” Paris said. “This just can’t happen.”
The shooting took place at around 2 p.m. Wednesday at the brewery, located on West Highland Boulevard. Milwaukee police identified the shooter as Anthony Ferrill, a Molson Coors employee. The victims include Jesus Valle Jr., 33; Gennady Levshetz, 61; Trevor Wetselaar, 33; Dana Walk, 57; and Dale Hudson, 60. All were employees of Molson Coors.
Molson Coors is reopening the Milwaukee campus on Monday with an increase in security.
Listen to the WPR report here.
‘Tonight We Stand Together Milwaukee Strong’: Community Honors Molson Coors Shooting Victims was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.
- As Molson Coors Restarts, Company Looks at Culture - Corri Hess - Mar 6th, 2020
- Milwaukee Police address misinformation regarding motive of suspect involved in active shooter incident - Milwaukee Police Department - Mar 4th, 2020
- Kaul Calls for More Gun Safety Laws - Shamane Mills - Mar 4th, 2020
- Community Honors Shooting Victims - Alana Watson - Mar 2nd, 2020
- Molson Coors Shooting Restarts Gun Debate - Isiah Holmes - Mar 1st, 2020
- Remembering the Molson Coors Victims - Corrinne Hess and Megan Hart - Feb 29th, 2020
- Hundreds Attend Vigil For Molson Coors Shooting Victims - Alana Watson - Feb 28th, 2020
- Brewery Workers Local 9- February 28, 2020 - Brewery Workers Local 9 UAW - Feb 28th, 2020
- Shooting at Molson Coors Left 6 Dead, Including Gunman - WPR Staff - Feb 27th, 2020
- Gov. Evers Orders Flags to Half-Staff in Honor of the Victims of the Molson Coors Tragedy - Gov. Tony Evers - Feb 27th, 2020
Read more about Shooting at Molson Coors here