Two workers killed at Wisconsin distribution warehouse, union says; suspect dead, police say

MILWAUKEE – Two people were found dead at a Wisconsin distribution center and a possible suspect died after a police pursuit, police said Wednesday.

Roundy’s distribution warehouse in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, was on lockdown Wednesday morning, though a city official said the area is now safe and secure.

A union representing employees at the warehouse said the two people found dead were workers.

The suspect was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a police chase and crash, authorities said.

Thomas Bennett, the secretary-treasurer for the General Teamsters Local Union No. 200, said the two workers had worked at the warehouse for at least 20 years. 

Bennett said he gathered the information after speaking with other union members and stewards. He said he was unaware of other injuries.

“It’s tragic,” he said. “The membership is taking it very hard. Not everybody (at the warehouse) knows everybody, but these individuals are known because they are long-term employees.”

Officers were first called to Roundy’s distribution warehouse at 10:32 p.m. local time Tuesday for a possible industrial accident, according to a news release.

Police soon located two people who were not breathing and had no pulse. Both died at the scene, the release said.

Some time later, police located a suspect vehicle in Milwaukee County and a chase ensued, the release said. The vehicle crashed on Milwaukee’s north side.

The possible suspect in the car was then found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. No active threat to the community remains, police said.

The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department and the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation are leading the investigation.

Roads around the Roundy’s distribution center reopened by midday Wednesday, but police were blocking entrances to the plant, as of 11 a.m. local time.

Some nearby businesses were closed as the investigation continued Wednesday morning.

A hospital spokeswoman said the nearby Aurora Medical Center Summit was briefly placed on lockdown “out of an abundance of caution.” It was lifted just before 6 a.m.

Roundy’s released a statement Wednesday, saying the company is “deeply saddened by the incident that occurred last night at our Oconomowoc distribution center.”

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The Roundy’s complex employs close to 1,000 people. The distribution facility is roughly the size of 30 football fields.

 The facility is served by a team of 110 truck drivers operating 100 tractors and 350 trailers — just for stores in Wisconsin. 

Roundy’s is a subsidiary of Cincinnati-based Kroger. It operates 106 Pick ‘n Save and Metro Market stores in Wisconsin and about 40 Mariano’s grocery stores in northern Illinois.

Follow reporters Mike Johnson and Elliot Hughes on Twitter: @MikeJohnson_JS@elliothughes12

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