Shooter who opened fire in workplace where 5 died had lost his job, police say

The Aurora Police Department says four police officers have been struck along with a "number of civilians" in a shooting in Aurora, Illinois.

Posted: Feb 16, 2019 12:30 AM
Updated: Feb 16, 2019 12:30 AM

The gunman at the Illinois manufacturing business where five employees were killed and five police officers were wounded was being let go by the company, Aurora Chief of Police Kristen Ziman told reporters Friday night.

The shooter, 45-year-old Gary Martin, used a Smith & Wesson handgun, the chief said. He was killed after police found him attempting to hide and he fired on officers. The chaos at the workplace lasted 90 minutes, Ziman said.

Five Aurora police officers and one employee suffered non-life-threatening injuries, Ziman said.

The first 911 calls came to Aurora police around 1:24 p.m. CT, with callers saying there was an active shooter at the Henry Pratt Company, which says it is one of the United States' largest manufacturers of industrial valves.

An employee at the company, John Probst, told CNN affiliate WLS the shooter was a co-worker and had a pistol with a laser sight.

"He was shooting everybody," Probst said.

A slew of law enforcement officers raced to the scene and a team of four approached the building, which is in a small industrial area.

There was gunfire immediately, and one officer was hit, Ziman said. Four other officers were shot just inside the building during the first five minutes of the response.

The gunman went farther into the 29,000-square-foot warehouse, and teams of officers went to look for him. The shooter was killed by officers, the chief said. A sixth officer hurt his knee and needed to go to a hospital.

"My heart goes out to the victims and their families who simply went to work today like any other day," Ziman said.

Authorities were still working Friday night to identify the deceased, city spokesman Clayton Muhammad said.

Probst told WLS there were about 30 people in the building at the time of the shooting. Probst said he and a coworker escaped through the back door. Probst said a nearby resident allowed him and his coworker to shelter in a home.

Four patients went to hospitals in Aurora, medical officials said. The chief said two wounded police officers were taken by air to trauma centers in Chicago, about 40 miles to the east.

Mueller Water Products, parent company of Henry Pratt, said in a statement: "Our hearts are with the victims and their loved ones, the first responders, the Aurora community and the entire Mueller family during this extremely difficult time. Our entire focus is on the health and wellbeing of our colleagues, and we are committed to providing any and all support to them and their families."

Aerial video from the scene just after the shooting showed scores of police vehicles outside the neighboring companies. The response included at least six ambulances and six firetrucks.

After the incident, police also put up crime scene tape near the Alro Steel Company.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI were responding to the scene, the agencies tweeted.

Aurora, with about 200,000 people, is the second-largest city in Illinois, according to the city's website. Locals refer to Aurora as "City of Lights," a nod to it being one of the first American cities to implement a fully electric street lighting system.

Aurora has a strong music and arts scene, and is even the setting of the popular buddy-film "Wayne's World." Although a suburb of Chicago, Aurora has a long tradition of manufacturing.

Terre Haute
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 34°
Robinson
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 35°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
38° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 32°
Rockville
Clear
35° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 35°
Casey
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 37°
Brazil
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 34°
Marshall
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 34°
A cold front moves in tonight
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 759562

Reported Deaths: 13624
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook3183246823
DuPage48499821
Will41204590
Lake39051663
Kane33273488
Winnebago19765284
Madison15363270
McHenry14996167
St. Clair14160269
Champaign1133660
Sangamon10669107
Peoria9785139
Kankakee9105114
Rock Island8981152
McLean896159
Tazewell7415118
Macon6817141
Kendall665854
LaSalle6471144
DeKalb528049
Adams494155
Vermilion421859
Boone408135
Whiteside3953131
Williamson385988
Clinton349163
Coles345461
Ogle303845
Knox299374
Effingham298527
Grundy298524
Henry286122
Jackson284237
Marion265566
Stephenson258238
Macoupin241423
Randolph241426
Livingston238738
Morgan233050
Bureau222455
Franklin220427
Monroe219148
Lee211338
Jefferson202663
Christian196943
Woodford191631
Fayette191236
Logan188622
Iroquois183633
McDonough164344
Fulton161414
Shelby146326
Douglas144718
Jersey138424
Union125628
Montgomery124020
Perry118431
Lawrence118314
Crawford118014
Saline117929
Warren114822
Bond114311
Jo Daviess113820
Carroll110927
Cass107023
Pike106331
Hancock101016
Moultrie96911
Wayne96833
Clay93622
Greene89432
Edgar88517
Richland86819
Clark83820
Piatt8295
Ford82024
Mercer80012
Washington7802
Mason77723
Johnson7757
Jasper69512
Cumberland68319
White66410
De Witt65518
Massac6475
Wabash6469
Menard5162
Pulaski4512
Marshall4357
Hamilton4114
Schuyler3431
Brown3376
Henderson3061
Stark3045
Calhoun2781
Alexander2684
Putnam2560
Scott2510
Edwards2423
Gallatin2133
Unassigned2130
Hardin1612
Pope1111
Out of IL100

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 359430

Reported Deaths: 6033
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion48740894
Lake30537484
Allen20668338
St. Joseph19177245
Elkhart18813246
Hamilton15457182
Vanderburgh10956137
Tippecanoe1012335
Porter932192
Johnson7732177
Hendricks7353165
Vigo6736106
Monroe604854
Madison5858125
Clark575986
Delaware5535108
LaPorte5291105
Kosciusko512948
Howard417680
Bartholomew380065
Warrick364374
Wayne362893
Floyd360279
Marshall343150
Grant326753
Cass323232
Hancock320663
Noble292450
Boone282056
Henry280741
Dubois271934
Jackson266638
Morgan259246
Dearborn252832
Gibson220333
Shelby216661
Knox212122
DeKalb210838
Lawrence205951
Clinton204025
Wabash195224
Adams192724
Miami191218
Daviess176747
Montgomery171429
Steuben168616
Jasper167717
Harrison167025
Ripley167022
Fayette165839
Whitley162417
LaGrange159534
Huntington153311
White151224
Putnam147831
Decatur145246
Wells145035
Randolph143724
Clay140426
Jefferson139719
Posey135722
Scott129725
Greene121054
Jay115516
Sullivan111418
Jennings106315
Starke104328
Spencer9678
Fulton96419
Fountain9588
Washington9019
Perry89221
Carroll81313
Franklin80228
Orange77028
Vermillion74911
Owen72210
Parke7056
Tipton68327
Blackford66116
Rush6488
Newton62513
Pike59321
Pulaski49720
Benton4483
Brown4226
Martin4006
Crawford3611
Union3032
Warren2893
Switzerland2825
Ohio2507
Unassigned0285