MADISON, Wis. — Someone placed a noose several years ago on the locker of a Wisconsin brewery employee who last week opened fire on his co-workers, the brewery operator said Wednesday, confirming at least one instance of racial harassment against him as police continue to piece together his motive.
Anthony Ferrill, an electrician at the sprawling Molson Coors brewery in Milwaukee, fatally shot five co-workers before killing himself on the campus last week. His motive remains unknown. Milwaukee police say they’re still investigating and have released almost no details about the incident aside from the shooter’s and victims’ names.
“At this time, it is undetermined if race played a factor in this incident,” Sgt. Sheronda Grant, a spokeswoman, said Wednesday.
Local media have reported over several days on speculation that the attack was racially motivated, interviewing current and former Molson Coors employees anonymously complaining about longstanding discrimination against black workers. Ferrill was black. Four of the shooting victims were white. The fifth was Latino.
The company on Wednesday confirmed that a noose was placed on Ferrill’s locker in 2015. Ferrill wasn’t working that day but was told about it, the company said.
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