The possible name of the gunman who killed multiple people and himself during a mass shooting at a brewery in Milwaukee on Wednesday afternoon was making the rounds on social media and the larger internet overnight. While local authorities had not officially revealed the name of the shooter, the name of Anthony Ferrill was being used across social media and in a few news articles to identify the gunman.
Journalist Matthew Keys cited a “law enforcement source” when he tweeted on Wednesday night that “Anthony Ferrill was a long-time employee of MillerCoors / Molson Coors with over 20 years of work history at the company.”
Ferrill was also identified as a Black man. No information about the victims had been released as of early pre-dawn Thursday.
Reddit, the popular social news aggregation and content website that fosters these types of online conversations, devoted an entire post to “Anthony Ferrill” and provided two photos of “the perpetrator of todays [sic] shooting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.”
While there was no official indication of the motive behind the shooting, a website called the Hispanic News Network USA Blog reported without any confirmation that “Racist taunting by employees targeting an African-American employee might have led to five employees being fatally shot including the shooter at the Molson Coors Beverage Company formerly known as MillierCoors [sic].”
A Twitter account credited to the name Tony Muhammad tweeted that “Miller Brewing in Milwaukee has a long and present-day history of employment/on the job discrimination against African American males.” A LinkedIn profile for Muhammad identified him as a Milwaukee businessman and resident.
New York magazine’s Intelligencer website cited ABC News when it reported that the gunman “was fired earlier in the day on Wednesday, and returned to the campus with a gun.” However, ABC News’ report may have been amended and did not mention the gunman having been terminated before launching his deadly shooting rampage.
The only official information released about the shooter is that he “was an active brewery employee” who a 51-year-old Milwaukee resident, Molson Coors CEO Gavin Hattersley said during a press conference on Wednesday.
But other reports across social media went much deeper in uncovering unconfirmed information about Ferrill.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel described the shooting on the Molson Coors brewery campus as one of the worst shootings in Wisconsin history. Five people were killed in total with the gunman also dying by suicide.
“Police were called to the complex where beer has been brewed for more than a century at 2:08 p.m,” the Journal Sentinel reported. “Ten minutes later, employees were notified by email that an active shooter was in or near the second-floor stairwell of the sprawling factory’s Building 4.”
That was where officials found the five shooting victims along with the deceased gunman.
This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.