Affidavit describes 2004 incident that led to Middleton shooter’s concealed carry revocation

Tong couldn't legally carry gun after 2004

The man who shot and seriously injured three co-workers in Middleton couldn’t legally own a firearm because of a mental health incident more than a decade ago, a Middleton official said.

Middleton Police Chief Charles Foulke said 43-year-old Anthony Y. Tong, who was shot and killed by police Wednesday, had moved to Madison in March 2017 from South Dakota. Foulke said Tong’s concealed carry license was revoked while he was in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, following a mental health check by police in 2004.

According to an affidavit filed in 2004 in Minnehaha County to revoke Tong’s concealed-carry permit, police had contact with Sioux Falls police when officers were investigating a disabled fire alarm. Police found Tong had dismantled all the electrically powered elements in his apartment on ceiling and walls, including ceiling fans, lights and smoke detectors.

Tong was “acting very odd,” saying the alarms were being used to eavesdrop on him, and police found he was carrying a handgun, pepper spray and two knives, the affidavit said.

The affidavit said officers asked if Tong would consider shooting someone else. He refused to answer, then said “there were people at work who were talking bad about him.” The affidavit lists the 1,115 rounds of ammunition that were found in the apartment along with an AR-15 rifle.

Tong was taken to a mental health facility on a 24-hour mental hold, the affidavit said. Tong’s concealed-carry license was revoked on Nov. 1, 2004.

Following the 2004 incident, Tong was forced to surrender his gun and ammunition. Foulke said authorities are investigating how he obtained the gun he used to open fire inside WTS Paradigm.

“It absolutely seems as though with some loophole, he was able to … get possession of that firearm, and he should not have been able to do that,” Foulke said. He said there is “something unique” about the gun that’s making it hard for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to track it.

In a statement Friday afternoon, WTS Paradigm said Tong’s employment was in good standing and wasn’t facing any disciplinary action.

“We, like everyone else, are shocked and saddened by this senseless act,” the statement said. “The WTS Paradigm team remains strong, and we will get through this together with support and help from colleagues, family, friends and the community.”

Foulke said it’s too early to conclude that the shooting stemmed from a mental health issue.

“I also really want to point out though that, that mental health incident that occurred in South Dakota was 13 years ago. We must use caution in trying to jump to conclusions that this is a mental health-related shooting incident,” Foulke said. “And also, we need to be cautious that we don’t paint everyone with a broad brush that everyone with a mental health issue is going to become an active shooter, because as we know, that is not the case. And that is not at all what we’re trying to push out today.”

During a news conference Friday, Foulke also said two of the three seriously injured shooting victims are doing “quite well,” and the third has a “long road ahead.” He said they have requested privacy.

Police searched Tong’s home on Madison’s far west side Wednesday night and found “significant evidence,” but Foulke said investigators are still trying to uncover a motive for the attack.

About 100 people were working at WTS Paradigm during the shooting, and 500 people overall were inside the complex, Foulke said.

In a letter to the community Friday, Foulke said he was proud of the public safety response to the incident and the community’s response has been generous with food donations and kind words.

“I cannot tell you how those kind words and expressions of concerns for the well-being of the shooting victims, affected citizens and the welfare of our public safety staffs buoys our spirits,” Foulke wrote. “While I have much to feel positive about, I cannot help but grieve that this happened in our community and continues to happen in our country. We cannot accept this as the new normal.”

Foulke said the officers who shot Tong are being interviewed Friday, and their names are expected to released sometime later in the day.

Police said Tong’s family is from out of state.

Affidavit describes 2004 incident that led to Middleton shooter’s concealed carry revocation