Middleton workplace shooter was diagnosed schizophrenic
Middleton workplace shooter Anthony Tong was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia said Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne during a press conference on Monday afternoon.
Ozanne said Tong’s mental health background was not reported to national database. If it had been reported properly, a background check would have caught that he could not own a firearm. In this case, Tong’s weapon was self-built from pieces he had purchased online. As Legislation stands, there was nothing that could have prevented him from getting the pieces that he had.
"When he (Tong) exhibited signed of paranoia in 2004 in South Dakota, authorities revoked Anthony Tong's concealed carry permit and confiscated his firearms...Despite this incident, however, through holes and flaws in our gun laws, Mr. Tong was able to obtain everything he needed to commit a mass killing," said Ozanne.
Ozanne also said that there was never an argument at work, and those who served on his team weren't targeted.
"I don't know if we will ever know what the motive was. But within the company, I believe Mr. Tong was a productive worker, he has a team but that team only consisted of what appeared to be 3 people. So the fact that he may or may not have engaged with other employees who were on other teams doing their projects, I don't think you can read anything into that. By all appearances, Mr. Tong was actually actively trying to address his mental illness and connecting with providers here in out community."
Ozanne said four officers will not be charged for shooting and killing a man who opened fire inside a software company.
"There is evidence that Mr. Tong also fired in the direction of officers...The use of deadly force exhibited by law reinforcement in this instance was privileged responding to an active shooter who is armed and is not responding to verbal commands to drop his weapon, gives law enforcement really no other option than to use deadly force as well," said Ozanne.
Documents released from the DOJ report that officers tried to negotiate with Tong before he began to fire in the direction of officers. Tong was holding a gun to his temple when officers were asking him to put down his weapon. According to the DOJ, there is no way to determine which officer or deputy fired the fatal shot, hitting Tong in the chest. All four officers have been on paid leave since September when Tong started shooting at his co-workers inside WTS Paradigm’s offices. The responding officers quick actions that day saved many lives however,it has been a challenging event to overcome for law enforcement and the community.
"This shooting has affected many people, this includes people struck by its bullets, their families, the many people present at WTS, the people who provided safe spaces for victims, the students and teachers who went on lockdown as well as the community at large,"said Ozanne.
Tong died in a shootout with two Dane County deputies and two Middleton police officers.
"This incident should be another warning that continuing failure by legislative bodies to pass common sense gun laws and legislation to restrict access to firearms and ammunition, and to update legislation to reflect changing technology, is directly responsible for shooting after shooting," said Ozanne.
Authorities continued to search Tong's house on Madison' far west side after the shooting. Inside they found hundreds of rounds of ammunition, gun parts, silencers, and bullet proof vests.
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