'Grief stricken': 2 employees killed by co-worker at Roundy's warehouse in Oconomowoc
OCONOMOWOC, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Two Roundy's employees are dead, along with a suspect, following a double shooting and police pursuit that started at the Roundy's Supermarkets Distribution Warehouse near Delafield and Blue Ribbon late on Tuesday evening, March 16.
Sources identified the suspect as Fraron Cornelius, a co-worker of the two victims. On Wednesday night, sources confirmed to CBS 58 that the victims are Kevin Kloth and Kevin Schneider.
The alleged suspect and victims were all warehouse employees and worked together for 20 years.
"Everybody knows everybody. Not everybody gets along. You're never going to make 750 people get along. I don't know what triggered the event ... but obviously it's a very unfortunate situation that will impact the lives of many many people," said Thomas Bennett, secretary-treasurer for Teamsters Local 200.
Oconomowoc police responded around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, after receiving a 911 call of a possible industrial accident at the warehouse. Police said they quickly learned it was not an industrial accident and foul play was involved.
Upon arrival, officers found two people pulseless and not breathing inside. Life-saving measures were conducted but both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said a perimeter was established to locate a potential suspect. The suspect's vehicle was located in Milwaukee County, and a chase ensued. According to police, the suspect's vehicle crashed and the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The building was put on lockdown, and employees were shuttled out to be questioned.
Bennett said coworkers found the victims inside, and employees are now "grief stricken" over the loss of their coworkers. The union is working with Roundy's to provide grief counseling for employees.
"We hear about these types of events in other cities. And in Milwaukee, Oconomowoc, we're not immune to these type of events and it hits our family pretty hard. Because we are family," Bennett said.
Donald Peterson is one of several truck drivers who made a delivery to Roundy's Tuesday night. He's now stranded in Oconomowoc because his truck is still part of the crime scene.
"Being put out by not getting your next load is not near as bad as being shot and killed," he said. "I feel for the families. Not only of the people that were killed, I feel for the family of the guy that supposedly shot him because everybody has a family."
Bennett said he knew of the suspect and considered one of the victims to be a close personal friend.
"All three of them had really stepped up as Teamsters and as employees of Kroger to serve our communities during the pandemic, working 14, 15, 18 hour days," he said.
Police have not said what lead up to the shooting or a possible motive. They said they would not release additional information on Wednesday.
Bennett said "we may never know" of a possible motive.
"You're never gonna make 750 people get along," he said.
Officials say there is no active threat to the community.
The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department and the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation will be conducting the initial investigation of the incident at Roundy's.
A press conference is scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m. Sources confirmed to CBS 58 that the following agencies will be in attendance: Oconomowoc Police Department, Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department, Milwaukee Police Department, the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation, Roundy’s, the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office and the mayor of Oconomowoc.
Roundy's released a statement on the incident that happened at the Oconomowoc distribution center:
"We are deeply saddened by the incident that occurred last night at our Oconomowoc distribution center.
The entire Roundy’s family offers our thoughts, prayers, and support to the families of our colleagues during this difficult time.
We are cooperating with local law enforcement, who have secured our facility. Our distribution center will remain closed while the police investigation continues. We are providing counseling services to our associates."
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers responded to the incident on Twitter.
Our hearts go out to the two workers in Oconomowoc whose lives were taken by gun violence today. Kathy and I are thinking of them, their friends, their family members, and all those affected by this tragedy.— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) March 17, 2021
Oconomowoc Mayor released the following statement:
“I am devastated by the heartbreaking news of the shooting in Oconomowoc this morning, and I send my deepest condolences to the loved ones of those killed, and my well wishes for the speedy recovery of those injured. I thank the law enforcement of our community for working to keep us safe.”
CBS 58 will continue to monitor this breaking news throughout the day and will have the latest on-air and online.