Molson Coors Shooting: Student Response

Connor McFarland

Six people, including the gunman, were killed on Wednesday, February 26th while attending work at a Milwaukee Molson Coors Brewery when an active shooter opened fire. The incident is already one of the largest mass shootings of 2020 and one of the deadliest in Wisconsin history. 


The shooter, Anthony Ferril, was a longtime employee of over ten years at the Molson Coors Brewery. His motive is unclear, but it is suspected that he was discriminated against at work. There was allegedly a noose found on his locker and he had made complaints about fellow employees coming into his house and moving stuff around. However, police believe this didn’t play a major role in his motive. 


Overall, students’ reactions to the incident were very unsurprised. Lily Adams, a Junior at Oakdale High School, expressed her opinion on the incident, “it doesn’t really surprise me; I feel like this happens a lot nowadays and I always see it happen, it’s pretty common.”


Haley Winkler, a Junior at Oakdale High School added, “Our generation is so desensitized to mass shootings and it’s bad.”


The company quickly responded to the threat by texting their employees that there was an active shooter in the building and they should find a safe place on the campus. This begs the question: How does one effectively prepare for a shooting?


This question led to the implementation of a new drill that aims to prepare staff and students for such an event. On Monday, March 9th, staff and students at Oakdale High School participated in an Avoid, Deny, Defend drill. The drill was introduced this school year in response to numerous mass shootings and what professionals have learned from them.


The drill tells staff and students that if they are ever in a situation, the first thing they should try to do is avoid the situation by running out of the building. If they are unable to do this because of the location they are in, then they should barricade themselves inside of a classroom. Then, if all else fails, they should defend themselves. 


When asked if the new drill is enough to prepare students for the possible event of a shooting, Winkler explained, “They are definitely doing more than they have in the past, it’s sort of hard to prepare for shootings unless it’s actually happening. I think that the avoid deny defend drill is good to put in place but I think they also need to put it into different situations.”


Overall, it is very hard to prepare for a possible shooting, but implementing more measures and drills is certainly not a bad thing.