MIDDLETON, Wis. — A developer at a Wisconsin software company where a shooting unfolded Wednesday described hearing shots fired — and what he did when he heard them. Drew Beatty said he heard several loud bangs while he was sitting at his desk, CBS affiliate WISC-TV reports. “At that time I didn’t really process what was happening,” he said.
“I looked around and then I heard a couple more bangs and then I saw one of my coworkers just bolt out the door, and that’s when I realized this is a crisis situation,” he told the station.
“Shot were not rapid fire. … It was just, ‘bang, bang, bang, bang, and then bang, bang,'” Beatty said. “You could tell it was kind of calculated shots. It wasn’t just spraying around.”
He said he crawled under office desks and bolted for the door when he heard the shots pause.
“It’s a glass door and it was shattered and there was a person outside the door that was injured,” Beatty said. “He was on his hands and knees saying he was shot.”
Authorities have said they still don’t know why an employee at the company, WTS Paradigm, went to the office with a pistol and extra ammunition and began firing on his colleagues, seriously injuring several, before he was fatally shot by police.
Middleton Police Chief Chuck Foulke released some details about the suspect: that he was an employee of WTS Paradigm and lived in nearby Madison. The chief said he didn’t know if victims were targeted, adding that investigators were following all leads.
Foulke said the shooting happened Wednesday morning. Officers arrived to find a man armed with a semi-automatic pistol and extra ammunition. “We have reason to believe the suspect was heavily armed with a lot of extra ammunition, a lot of extra magazines,” Foulke said.
The man fired at officers before he was shot. Foulke said four officers fired their weapons within eight minutes of getting the call, preventing more bloodshed.
“I think a lot less people were injured or killed because police officers went in and neutralized the shooter,” Foulke said.
Police conducted a secondary search of the office building after the shooting to ensure there were no more victims or suspects — and officers discovered some people still hiding in the building, which also houses Esker Software.
Gabe Geib, a customer advocate at Esker Software, said he was working at his desk when he heard what “sounded like claps.” He said he then saw people running away from the building at “full sprint.”
“We knew at that point that something was going down. A ton of people were running across the street right in front of us,” he said.
Geib said he and his colleagues were still huddled in their cafeteria, away from windows, more than an hour after the shooting.
WTS Paradigm Marketing Manager Ryan Mayrand said in a statement Wednesday evening that the company was “shocked and heartbroken” and was working to set up counseling for workers.
The company makes software for the building products industry. A Wisconsin State Journal profile from 2014 listed company employment at about 145 employees and noted the company was looking to move to a larger location at the time.
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