Mass shooting at Illinois workplace kills 5, including laid-off gunman

AURORA, IL — The 39th mass shooting of 2019 took place, in Aurora, Illinois, on Friday — just a day after the 11th anniversary of the mass shooting in Northern Illinois University.

Aurora, the second largest city in Illinois, about 40 miles west of Chicago, has approximately 200,000 residents.

Local police identified 45-year-old Gary Martin, as the gunman who died in a shootout with officers Friday.

Reports say that Martin opened fire inside Henry Pratt, a manufacturing company, during his termination meeting with human resources. 12 people, including the gunman, were shot. 5 died, including Martin. Five police officers sustained non-life threatening injuries.

The five victims who died, all Henry Pratt employees, are Trevor Wehner, Russell Beyer, Vicente Juarez, Clayton Parks, and Josh Pinkard.

At least 2,000 people gathered at Henry Pratt on Sunday for a prayer vigil. Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin says this is gut-wrenching.

“Continue to pray for the community. Though I may offer no words to ease the pain, I offer my prayer,” said Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin.

Investigation by the authorities revealed that Martin’s 1995 felony conviction in Mississippi did not surface when Henry Pratt performed a background check, 15 years ago. Martin had six arrests includiing domestic matter, disorderly conduct, and criminal damage to property.

Martin was issued an Illinois firearms I.D. in 2014 that allowed him to purchase the Smith & Wesson handgun, but his permit to carry the weapon had been later revoked. Police are currently investigating how Martin was still in possession of the firearm.

37-year-old Blanca Mondragon says – something is not adding up and we can no longer put Band-Aids.

“Something that we all want to come together and figure it out. It’s going to take every single one of us to do our part, as humanity.”

Steven Weil says he still cannot believe that something tragic happened in his neighborhood.

“This is very close to home where none of these other tragedies have I felt scared because I have been far away from them.”

President Trump tweeted Friday evening, thanking law enforcement and offering a message to those who have been affected by the recent mass shooting.

According to a company-issued statement, the Henry Pratt facility will not be returning to full production this week. Its doors will remain open for employees who would like to spend time with their collegues. Normal work schedule will tentatively resume on Monday.

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