MILWAUKEE – The man who opened the fire at the Molson Coors plant on Wednesday and killed five employees and himself was involved in a long-standing dispute with an employee who overcooked the Milwaukee Journal, according to law enforcement and brewery sources who had spoken to him Sentinel.
Anthony N. Ferrill, 51, has worked as an electrician for over 20 years, including 17 at Molson Coors. This emerges from several sources and online employment reports.
A staff member who asked to be identified for fear of discipline said Ferrill believed he was discriminated against because he was African-American and had often argued with at least one of the victims, an electrician colleague.
The employee said Ferrill had often seen films on his cell phone that the other electrician had trouble with during the day, and the two accused each other of going into each other’s offices and stealing tools or manipulating computer equipment.
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About a year ago, the clerk said, Ferrill started saying he thought breweries would come into his house, listen to his computer, and move chairs.
“I was, are you serious, Anthony? What? We all joked about it and said maybe we should get him an aluminum hat. Things were just starting to get weird. But he was really serious,” said the employee.
But another co-worker, Keith Giese, said Ferrill seemed to be doing well when he saw him earlier this week.
“I never had a clue. I spoke to him a few days ago and he seemed fine with me,” said Giese. “I had no idea there was a problem that someone could snap like this.”
When it was announced on Thursday that Ferrill was the shooter, employees and neighbors repeated this surprise.
“He was a very good electrician, a very good worker, and I couldn’t say anything bad about the guy,” said Phillip Rauch Sr., who retired in April after working at Ferrill for 15 years. “Every time I worked with him, he was always in a good mood.”
Ferrill was a licensed electrician for industrial journeyman and a member of the International Brotherhood of Electricians in Milwaukee. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1987 to 1991 and was honorably released by Milwaukee County Veterans’ Services, according to Rick Flowers.
The police continued to occupy Ferrill’s house on Thursday. Detectives and officers occasionally showed up with items.
The house where a play was playing in the back yard was still surrounded by police tapes as the neighbors tried to reconcile the helpful man they knew with the hideous acts that Ferrill had committed.
Neighbor Erna Roenspies said Ferrill sometimes helped her around the house, especially after her 60-year-old husband died three years ago. She last saw Ferrill a week ago when he helped her with a broken water heater.
“He was like my son,” said Roenspies on Thursday. “He was a person who would help everyone in the neighborhood. It is a shock. I still don’t believe it. “
She said Ferrill was a gun collector and put them together in his house. He told her it was his hobby.
I said, ‘I hate guns. I don’t want to see her, ”she said. And she said she never did.
Elizabeth LaPine has lived in the neighborhood for 11 years. She said she once saw what she thought was a gun safe that was delivered home.
“I knew he was interested in guns,” said LaPine.
She said it was hard to believe that Ferrill was the shooter.
“I would never believe … that he could do something like that,” said LaPine. “He didn’t give me the impression that something was wrong. It didn’t seem to be any different.”
Ferrill had a Doberman pinscher named Lucas, said LaPine.
Like others living in the neighborhood, LaPine said Ferrill was looking for his home and neighbors.
“He gave me his phone number about a year ago,” said LaPine. “He said:” If you see someone playing around in the house or something … call me. “
Contributors: Ashley Luthern, Mark Johnson, Rory Linnane, Talis Shelbourne, Mary Spicuzza, Maria Perez, Raquel Rutledge, Ricardo Torres, Bruce Vielmetti and Cary Spivak from Journal Sentinel; Nick Penzenstadler from the USA TODAY
This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: The shooter of Milwaukee Molson Coors had a long dispute with his colleague