Employees near Middleton shooting share about hearing gunshots and office evacuations

Published: Sep. 19, 2018 at 5:02 PM CDT
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Nearby businesses were evacuated following the shooting in Middleton on Wednesday morning. Several people in the area heard gun shots and some employees were held in lock down.

Marlene Mecum spoke with NBC15’s Meghan Reistad moments after police told her she could go home after her office building was evacuated.

"We started hearing gunshots and being on the second floor in the building next to Paradigm. We didn't know what was going on we just saw all these police officers running towards the building and hearing the gunshots,” said Mecum.

Mecum works in the Sentry Insurance building that is connected to the WTS Paradigm building. She said after people in her office heard the gunshots, they locked the doors and waited for police.

“They came up the back stairwell and evacuated us. We came up with our arms up you know and there were still police officers pointing their guns," said Mecum.

She said, at the time, they didn’t know much about what was going on and most of their information came from family and friends sending messages. Still, she said authorities asked for information.

"The police interviewed us to see if we saw anything, took pictures, and that's about it but hearing the gunshots you know that's the scariest thing in the world and not knowing what's going on," said Mecum.

Ross Schendel and Nick Kirernan both work at Traffic Cast, a technology company in the building next door to Paradigm. They told NBC15's Hannah Flood they saw people running from the building around 10:30 Wednesday morning.

“As they were running they kind of indicated that someone might have had a gun inside by going like this,” Schendel said while holding up his hand like a gun.

“Our first thought was to just gather everybody, be sure that they're all safe, we could secure our space,” Kirernan said.

Employees huddled together in a windowless server room and waited.

“We were checking twitter we were checking news sources because we didn't really know anything else. We were just trying to figure out what was going on and try to stay as calm as we could because we knew panicking wasn't going to help us out,” Schendel said.

They say they waited in the room for around 40 minutes before they received an okay from police to evacuate.

"Pretty terrifying. A lot of adrenaline. You know, just glad that we got out and our team is safe,” Schendel said.

"You're really feeling for the people directly involved. Those are the people that are really dealing with this the most," Kirernan said. "it's scary. A lot of clichés come to mind. How could this happen here? But it does and it's good to see the local police responding as quickly as they do."