Paradigm employees thank first responders for saving lives

MIDDLETON, Wis. (WMTV)-- September 19th, 2018...a day our community won't soon forget. On that day, Anthony Tong shot four of his co-workers at WTS Paradigm in Middleton. Survivors are reaching out to those who rushed into the chaos to save lives.

On Friday morning, Paradigm played host to about 200 local law enforcement and first responders. Paradigm provided each of them with a gift. The gift is a little wooden box. Inside the box is shattered glass from the day of the shooting.

The date of the shooting is engraved on the box along with a saying: “We stepped over this broken glass to safety because of you. We won’t forget. Thank you for what you did for us at Paradigm that day and what you do every day. You are a hero.”

“That box represents one day in the life of our community. And it makes me so proud to be a member of the Dane County community and the Middleton community,” Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney said. “That’s what it means to me and that’s what it means to our people. It’s that personal connection with those whose lives were changed on that day at that moment,”

“I haven't put it down,” said Chief Charles Foulke of the little wooden box. “It’s going into my office and it will always be with me, even when I retire. It is very significant. It means a lot to me, it means a lot to my staff. And I know it meant a lot to everyone at that ceremony today,”

“Things like this don't happen in our profession so to get that recognition and that acknowledgment that's something I won't forget,” he added.

“It was a lot of gratitude. It was a room of mutual gratitude. It was gratitude from the first responders to our employees and our employees back,” said Paradigm CEO Nate Herbst.

The four employees who were shot that day are back working at Paradigm. The company has yet to move back into the building where the shooting took place, but they plan to do so by the end of March.

Paradigm has provided mental health support to employees who may have a difficult time transitioning back into the old building. The company says several employees have decided not to return because the pain is just too deep.