Molson Coors official confirms noose was found in shooter's locker 5 years ago

NOW: Molson Coors official confirms noose was found in shooter’s locker 5 years ago

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Molson Coors is addressing social media rumors about what may have led a 51-year-old Milwaukee man to shoot and kill five of his coworkers. 

A spokesperson for the company said their focus right now is on helping employees and healing, and part of that is looking at workplace culture.

"People here lost friends, lost co-workers, lost teammates. The company lost a piece of itself and the community lost a piece of itself, too." said Molson Coors Chief Communications and Corporate Affairs Officer Adam Collins. 

Milwaukee police say Anthony Ferrill shot and killed five of his coworkers before shooting himself last week.

Not long after the shooting, people were posting on social media that racial harassment may have been behind the shooting.

Collins said police are still investigating the shooting and any possible motive, but acknowledged that a noose was found in a locker five years ago.

"We've seen the same types of rumors that folks have seen on social media over the last few days," Collins said. "Some of them are true, there was an incident that's been discussed about a noose that was found in a locker, which is abhorrent. It is flatly unacceptable that something like that would happen in our place of work, no two ways about it."

Collins said they investigated and looked through security footage, but could not see who put it there. 

"The employee was actually not at work that day, it was a day off, the company brought it to him, made him aware of it," Collins. 

Collins said they brought in brewery leadership and employees and made sure employees had a confidential way to make complaints of any kind of discrimination or harassment. 

When asked if anyone raised any concerns about Ferrill before the shooting, Collins said, "I want to be very careful. Again, the police department has been doing an incredible job investigating this horrible, horrible event and we’ve been working with them to get those answers. I know there’s a lot of questions and fairly, we have questions, the police department has questions and the community has questions as well, so our commitment has been working with the police department and the detectives as they do that really difficult hard work to get those answers that I know everyone wants and everyone deserves." 

He said the company is listening to employees and partnering with organizations outside the company to try to make it an inclusive workplace.

In an email to CBS 58, MPD said, "Please keep in mind that this is still an open investigation and that it is being actively investigated. At this time, it is undetermined if race played a factor in this incident."

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