Five workers died in a mass shooting incident at a production unit of multinational brewing company Molson Coors in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on February 26, Wednesday. The shooter entered the famous Miller brewing plant owned by Molson Coors that employs over 1,000 workers on Wednesday afternoon, and fired shots at random people before shooting himself. He was identified as a 51-year old former employee of the brewery who was recently fired from his job. Local authorities are yet to ascertain the motivation behind his actions.
The incident is the 64th such mass shooting to occur in the United States this year, with 26 such cases reported in February alone. Gun violence, particularly mass shootings, have been on the rise in the US for the past several years and claim hundreds of lives annually. A mass shooting is often defined as an incident of gun violence where four or more people are shot at.
In 2019, the country witnessed 434 incidents of gun violence that can be deemed as mass shootings, killing 517 people in total. This is an increase from 323 mass shootings in 2018 that killed 387 people. The Gun Violence Archive, an NGO that compiles data of all incidents of gun violence including mass shootings, estimated that as of February 24, more than 6,000 casualties have taken place due to gun violence in the US this year.
The US Congressional Research Committee, a body for research and data collection for the US Congress, has a far lower estimate as it narrows the definition to include only shootings in public places, and not homes. Nevertheless, the US is estimated to have witnessed anywhere between a quarter to a third of the world’s gun violence-related fatalities and injuries in 2019.
President Donald Trump and other political leaders have condemned Wednesday’s shooting and expressed their condolences to the families of the victims. The opposition Democratic Party leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, while condemning the shooting, have made renewed calls for stricter gun control measures across the US.