Middleton workplace shooter bought arsenal items months ago

MIDDLETON (WKOW) – Court records and interviews show Middleton workplace shooter  Anthony Tong purchased items as part of his arsenal months ago.

Authorities say Tong shot and wounded four co-workers Sept. 19 at the software firm where they worked, WTS Paradigm.  Officials say officers fatally shot Tong.

Dane County court records show many firearms accessories were seized from Tong’s Madison home after the shooting, including silencers, a ballistic helmet and stun gun apparatus.

Owner Stan Platts of Missouri-based Ace Case Manufacturer tells 27 News Tong made purchases from his firm.

“We do not sell guns…only accessories,” Platts tells 27 News.

Tong was legally barred from possessing firearms after a 2004 mental health incident led state officials there to revoke Tong’s state license to carry concealed weapons.

Platts says Tong purchased carriers for ammunition clips used with AR-15 rifles. He says Tong also bought carriers for dozens of rounds that could be used with several different weapons, including a nine millimeter, semi-automatic hand gun. Investigators say that was the type of weapon Tong used at his workplace.

Authorities say they have yet to trace the history of Tong’s firearm, noting the weapon was “unique” and harder to track.

Platts says his firm is unaware of the backgrounds of its customers, as no firearms are sold.  He says most accessory sales are online or phone transactions.

Platts says does say sales team members have called appropriate authorities when a buyer has been irrational or threatening. But he tells 27 News Tong did not display such behavior in connection with his purchases.

Tong attended high school in Jacksonville, Illinois and attended Lawrence University in Wisconsin.

Former Madison Common Council President Chris Schmidt says he and Tong were classmates from 1993 to 1997.

“We were both physics majors…there were maybe a dozen physics majors so we tended to be in the same classes,” Schmidt says.

“He was a quiet guy,” Schmidt tells 27 News.  “I wouldn’t say he was outside the norm for people I knew at Lawrence University.”

Schmidt says until the workplace shooting, he was unaware 43-year-old Tong was in Middleton.

Schmidt tells 27 News Anthony Tong’s violent actions were a far cry from Tong’s days as a college student.

“I was surprised,” Schmidt tells 27 News.

Officials say three of Tong’s four victims have been released from area hospitals.   Court records show one victim suffered ten gun shot wounds.

Tony Galli

Tony Galli

Reporter, WKOW

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