Update: Tong Identified as WTS Paradigm Shooter

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By: 
Kevin Murphy
A shooting at WTS Paradigm was carried out by an employee. Police shot the suspect,who died later at a Madison hospital. Middleton Police Chief Chuck Foulke and Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney at a press conference after the shootings.

The Dane County Medical Examiner’s office Thursday identified a Madison man as the person who shot four co-workers Wednesday at WTS Paradigm before law enforcement fatally shot him.

An autopsy identified Anthony Y. Tong, 43, as the shooter. Preliminary results confirmed that he died from firearm-related trauma. He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving Wednesday at a local hospital. Additional testing was underway Thursday afternoon.

Middleton Police Chief Charles Foulke has consistently identified the shooter as a Madison man and that a residence in southwest Madison was searched and items seized apparently linked Tong to the offense.

The address searched was reported in the 9700 block of Watts Dr. Madison.

Law enforcement believes that Tong acted alone as there are no indications that anyone else was involved in the incident, Foulke said.

Tong had no prior contacts with Middleton police nor other local enforcement, Foulke said, to the best of his knowledge.

Authorities Wednesday searched the deceased’s residence on Madison’s southwest side and recovered items Foulke would not disclose.

Foulke said he believed that Tong lived alone, was 43 years old, and had worked at WTS since April 2017. Foulke didn’t know if the employee had been terminated just prior to the shooting.

“A motive has not been determined yet,” Foulke said.

One shooting victim, in critical condition Wednesday, had been upgraded, Foulke said, but he had no information on two others who were hospitalized.

Efforts to learn about their conditions Thursday morning were unsuccessful.

Tong did not have a concealed carry weapon permit. The gun’s history and whether Tong had registered the semi-automatic pistol recovered at the scene was being traced with federal agencies, Foulke said.

Two male Middleton police officers and two male sheriff’s deputies were involved the shooting. They have not been formally interviewed by the state Division of Criminal Investigation, the agency designated to conduct the officer-involved shooting incident. There has been an informal “walk-through” of the event by the participants but Foulke wanted them to have few night’s sleep before they’re formally interviewed.

“There was a significant number of shots fired,” said Foulke who could not specify an exact number.

The four remain on administrative leave, which could be a few months, until the district attorney clears them of any wrongdoing, Foulke said.

They have access to counseling and have “peer officers” to talk with, which is department protocol in shooting situations, said Foulke.

Neither of the two Middleton officers nor the sheriff’s deputies had previously been involved in a shooting, according to Foulke and Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney.

Foulke praised the prompt response of the law enforcement to the shooting.

“They assembled and didn’t but entered the building and engaged the shooter,” he said.

Paradigm has surveillance cameras on the premises and although police have not yet viewed any footage of the shootings, the company and property management firm is working with authorities to make it available, Foulke said.

The building at 1850 Deming Way remains a crime scene, police are not allowing employees inside and it may continue under police control until Tuesday, Foulke.

Hundreds of employees fled the building during and after the shootings, leaving behind, car keys, medications and other valuable property. 

During the shootings, employees either hid under desks, barricaded themselves in more secure areas or fled, “all three things are what is recommended,” said Foulke.

Police asked WTA employees to come to the Marriott Residence Inn until 1 p.m. Thursday and tell police which items they left behind and an officer will retrieve them, said Foulke. Their vehicles also will be released today.

The building has two separate mid-rise towers housing other businesses. Employees of those business can collect belongings they left behind by first checking at the Marriott Residence Inn, he said.

“The investigators want to keep control of those buildings until every last piece of evidence is collected,” Foulke said.

Deming Way adjacent to the Paradigm’s location remained closed Thursday and may not reopen to traffic until Tuesday, said Foulke.

Mayor Gurdip Brar called Wednesday “a sad day in Middleton.  Our hearts go out to all the employees at Paradigm and we’re grateful to the police,” he said.

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