Fraron Cornelius is the 41-year-old deceased suspect accused of shooting two co-workers to death at a major Roundys distribution center in Oconowmowoc, Wisconsin.
That’s according to WTMJ-TV and Fox 6, which reported the name based on sources and a union official. Thomas Bennett, Secretary-Treasurer of Wisconsin Teamsters Joint Council #39 told WTMJ-TV that two union workers were found shot to death in different areas of the facility on the evening of March 16, 2021.
Former co-workers identify Fraron Cornelius as the shooter pic.twitter.com/elYDG1Dvzx
— Hillary Mintz (@HILLARY_MINTZ) March 17, 2021
Oconomowoc is a suburban community located in a county adjacent to Milwaukee County about 40 minutes from the City of Milwaukee. Cornelius worked at the supermarket distribution facility as did the two victims.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Cornelius Died of a Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound, Police Say
BREAKING OVERNIGHT: Oconomowoc Police responding to an "active tactical situation" at Roundy's Distribution Center.
Police tell us the building is still on lockdown.
— Ryan Jenkins (@RyanJenkins_TV) March 17, 2021
In a news release, Oconomowoc police said that, around 10:32 p.m. on March 16, they received a 911 call of a “possible industrial accident” at Roundy’s Distribution Center, 1111 Delafield Road, in the City of Oconomowoc.
“It was quickly learned that this was not an industrial accident and there was foul play involved,” police said.
Squads responded to the scene and “located a patient who was pulseless and not breathing,” the release says. “A short time later, a second patient was located who was also pulseless and not breathing. Life saving measures were conducted but were unsuccessful. Both subjects were pronounced deceased at the scene.”
Authorities set up a perimeter to find the suspect. At that time, “a suspect vehicle was located in Milwaukee County and a pursuit ensued. The suspect vehicle crashed, and the possible suspect was pronounced deceased on the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
Authorities do not believe there is currently an active threat to the community. The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation will be investigating.
Traffic in the area of State Highway 67 and DR was disrupted for several hours but is now back open.
2. Cornelius Lived in Wauwatosa, a Suburb of Milwaukee
Wauwatosa police spokeswoman Sgt. Abby Pavlik said that authorities “were made aware of a tactical situation in Oconomowoc. Oconomwoco PD requested our assistance” to find the suspect.
Wauwatosa police located the suspect vehicle around 4:45 a.m. and alerted area squads. A pursuit ensued and ended in the City of Milwaukee in a crash. As the investigation continued, they learned the suspect lived in the City of Wauwatosa. “Our officers are assisting the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department” in executing a search warrant, she said.
Pavlik said further details would be released by the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department.
3. Cornelius Has No Criminal History in Wisconsin
— NBC Chicago (@nbcchicago) March 17, 2021
Only two cases come up for Cornelius in court records. One is a speeding traffic case. The records give his year of birth as 1979 and say he’s Black. His address is given as being in the 1500 block of North 124th St. They don’t provide many other details.
He was also listed as a defendant in a personal injury/automobile civil case. That case dates to 2003. His address at that time was given as Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The case was dismissed after a settlement.
State Rep. Barb Dittrich said in a statement, “March 17, 2021 marks one of the saddest St. Patrick’s Days that the 38th Assembly District has ever experienced. Early this morning, we awoke to tragic news of what took place at the Roundy’s Distribution Facility. All of Oconomowoc and the surrounding area grieve with those who lost loved ones. We offer our support and sympathy to all of the workers at the warehouse. We offer our heartfelt thanks to the Oconomowoc and Summit Police Departments as well as all of the supporting law enforcement responding to the situation. And we also extend our sincere gratitude to the first responders of Western Lakes Fire Department.”
4. Neighbors Described Cornelius as Working Long Hours & Taking Care of His Mother
Watch for road closures in Oconomowoc south of I94 on Hwy 67. Roundy’s Distribution Center on lockdown due to tactical situation. Avoid the area. @CBS58 updates with @KimShineCBS58 pic.twitter.com/yzB9mDnXm6
— Andy Brovelli🚦🚧🚘 (@ABrovelli) March 17, 2021
A neighbor told the Journal Sentinel that Cornelius and his brother “visited their mother at her home on 124th Street in Wauwatosa nearly every day to take care of her.”
The neighbor Christina Travis told the newspaper, “The fact that one of her sons is involved in this is very shocking because they’re both very dedicated to her.” Other neighbors told the newspaper Cornelius worked “long hours” but seemed otherwise quiet.
The motive for the shootings is not clear. The victims’ names haven’t been released.
5. Cornelius Signed the Recall Petition Against Former Gov. Scott Walker
Records from the iVerify the recall website show Cornelius signed the recall petition to recall former Republican Gov. Scott Walker. There’s no evidence politics had anything to do with the shootings, though.
A Facebook page in Cornelius’s name only had a couple friends and no visible posts or photos.
“Our hearts go out to the two workers in Oconomowoc whose lives were taken by gun violence today. Kathy and I are thinking of them, their friends, their family members, and all those affected by this tragedy,” Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said in a statement.