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'Thankful that I'm okay': Molson Coors employee recounts hiding during shooting

Posted at 9:58 PM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 23:13:21-05

MILWAUKEE — More than two days have passed since the mass shooting at Molson Coors, and employees who survived are taking the time to process the tragedy.

Jennifer Pevarnek is a brewing material and research scientist at Molson Coors. She took the job almost exactly a year ago, moving to Milwaukee from Michigan right after graduate school.

It's been a traumatic 48 hours, and she sought a little comfort at Sip and Purr Cat Cafe on the East Side, one of many Milwaukee businesses opening their doors in this time of need.

"This was just a break from it all," Pevarnek said.

On Wednesday, Pevarnek was in her office at Molson Coors when she got an email alert of an active shooter in building four—a different building but not far from Pevarnek and her coworkers.

"And eventually we just said kind of goodbye to each other, and we went into our own individual offices, and I closed my door and turned off the lights, and I put my chair in front of the door," Pevarnek said. "And I just kind of said a little prayer and texted my family that I didn't know what was happening, but I was okay, and just kind of waited for two hours and put my headphones in and watched the news."

Pevarnek says police came through her building and escorted her out. Then her fiance came to pick her up. She has since been talking with family, friends, and coworkers about what happened.

"When I saw my fiance again I was, just held him a little harder that night, a little tighter," Pevarnek said.

She doesn't know any of the people who were killed, but her heart breaks for their families.

"I can't imagine what these families are going through, and I just think about them all the time," Pevarnek said. "It's so so tragic."

Now she's focused on coping and moving forward as she plans to head back to work on Monday. Her 26th birthday is next week, and she has a deeper appreciation for life's fragility.

"Every mass shooting has been so tragic, but a building away from you, I never thought was possible," Pevarnek said.

If you want to help, Molson Coors has started a GoFundMe to help the families of the victims.

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