MIDDLETON (WKOW) — As officers worked to neutralize the active shooter situation at WTS Paradigm, the surrounding businesses were forced into lockdown.
When the shooting happened, witnesses said the scene was chaotic. Law enforcement was going in and out of buildings. Flashing lights surrounded the area.
Marlene Mecum was working at the nearby IMEG Corp. She said they didn’t know what was going but she saw blood on the sidewalk.
“Basically we heard all the squad cars just flying in and it wasn’t just one or two, I mean it was a massive lot of squad cars and then all of a sudden we heard gunshots,” she said. “And so we were all running.”
Not long after, Mecum said, her coworkers locked the doors and hoped for the best.
“We locked everything up, kept everyone in the area,” she said. “We started notifying family. We started notifying co-workers to say hey we’re locking down. We’re all okay.”
Blocks away, stores around Greenway Station went on lockdown. Many headed to the popular shopping center only to find it surrounded by police cars, unable to enter any of the stores.
Tracy Finch said she came to Greenway station to pick up her son who was shopping there. She was able to reunite with him after the lockdown. Both Finch and her son were okay, but like many in the community, they were shaken.
“You never think that it would hit this close to home after seeing all the things on the news and having it hit this close to home, it just hits you harder,” she said.
Greenway lifted its lockdown around 1 p.m.
As for the employees at Paradigm, police took them to the nearby Marriott Residence Inn. They waited there for hours before police allowed them to leave in small groups.
A number of them boarded buses to head to an undisclosed site for further police interviews. The rest who were unable to get home themselves went to the Marriott hotel down the street.
At the Marriott, the Wisconsin Department of Justice provided services for anyone who needed them. The center was open until 5 p.m.