Aurora Shooting UPDATE: Community Mourns Loss of 5 Killed By Gunman

Aurora Shooting UPDATE: Community Mourns Loss of 5 Killed By Gunman

(CREDIT: Screenshot from WGN live stream around 3:20 p.m. Friday.)

  • 10AM FEB. 19 UPDATE

Friday’s mass shooting might be the most horrific event in Aurora history — but the response to that event might also go down as the community’s finest hour.

In the days following the shooting — in which Gary Martin, 45, shot and killed five employees and wounded five Aurora police officers — there has been almost unanimous praise for the bravery of first responders, the immediacy of the Police Department’s response, the coordinated efforts of local and federal law enforcement agencies and the professionalism of Police Chief Kristen Ziman in her handling of the news conferences seen by millions of people across the country and the world.

A Community, And a Nation Mourn

The Aurora community is mourning the five people killed in Friday’s mass shooting at the Henry Pratt Manufacturing warehouse at at 641 Archer Ave.

During that clash, Martin, who sources say was in the process of being fired from his job at the Henry Pratt Manufacturing Company, opened fire and killed five employees of the company, then shot and wounded four Aurora police officers before the officers returned fire and killed him.

As of Monday, all five police officers who were wounded or injured during their response have been released from area hospitals, according to Aurora police and media posts.

The Henry Pratt Company reopened Monday, Feb. 18, 2019.

At a Saturday morning news conference, police released the names of the five people who were shot and killed by Martin.

The victims are:

  • Clayton Parks of Elgin, the human resources manager at Henry Pratt Manufacturing
  • Trevor Wehner, an HR intern and student at Northern Illinois University
  • Russell Beyer of Yorkville, a mold operator at Henry Pratt Manufacturing
  • Vicente Juarez of Oswego, a stock room attendant at Henry Pratt Manufacturing
  • Josh Pinkard of Oswego, a plant manager at Henry Pratt Manufacturing

Here is just one of many media reports with more details about the victims.

How It Happened

At around 1:24 p.m. Friday, the Aurora Police Department received multiple calls of an active shooter at the Henry Pratt Manufacturing and Warehouse building, located at 641 Archer Ave.

Gary Martin

About four minutes later, the first officers arrived on scene and were immediately confronted by Martin, who was armed with a Smith & Wesson handgun that had a laser sight. Martin fired upon the officers as they arrived, striking two of the four first responders.

Additional Aurora police officers responded to assist in an attempt to rescue the wounded officers and render aid. As additional law enforcement arrived at the scene, they continued to report gunfire heard within the building.

According to a Aurora Police Department news release, a regional law enforcement response was coordinated, and several teams of officers went inside the 29,000-square-foot facility in an attempt to locate and stop the shooter.

(CREDIT: Google Maps)

Aurora officers, along with officers from the Naperville Police Department, ultimately confronted Martin inside the building, at which time he fired at them. The officers returned fire, killing Martin.

Five Aurora police officers were shot by Martin before this incident ended, police said. All of the officers were transported to area hospitals for treatment for apparent non-life-threatening injuries.

No injuries to first responders from other agencies were reported.

Aurora police have confirmed five employees were located deceased inside the building. Officials have also confirmed that one employee was treated at an area hospital for non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.

The investigation into the officer-involved portion of this shooting incident is being conducted by the Kane County Officer-Involved Shooting Task Force.

Investigators from the Aurora Police Department, with the assistance of the ATF, FBI, and Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office are conducting the investigation into the workplace shooting incident.

641 Archer Ave. (CREDIT: Google Maps)

Schools Were on Lockdown

Schools were shut down after the shooter reportedly opened fire, injuring multiple employees and at least four police officers who arrived on the scene, according to school district, police, Kane County Sheriff’s Office and media reports.

The Aurora Police Department and School District 129 originally reported the active shooter around 2:30 p.m. Friday (Feb. 15, 2019) near Highland and Prairie.

As of 2:30 p.m. Friday, School District 129 was on lock down. At 3:29 p.m. Friday, District 129 reported the soft lockdown was lifted at its elementary and Hope Wall, middle schools, high school and the West Aurora Learning Center.

District 129’s original report read as follows:

“There are reports of an active shooter at the Henry Pratt building near Cleveland and Prairie just east of Luigi’s Pizza, as a result, we are holding all district students in place for their safety, there is a police presence in the area. Per directions from the county sheriff, the district has been advised to go into a soft lockdown situation across the district. Teaching will continue with reduced movement. Normal operations will resume when the soft lockdown has been lifted. No one will be allowed to leave or enter our buildings until the soft lockdown has been lifted.”

This article will be updated when additional information is available from official sources.

SOURCE: city of Aurora, School District 129

Victim Assistance

In an effort to provide continuing service to the greater Aurora community and those immediately affected by yesterday’s shooting, the FBI’s Victim Assistance Division is providing resources to victims and their families associated with this incident:

  • For victims looking for assistance, email and enter “Aurora Victim.”
  • For anyone having information related to this incident, email and “Aurora Tips” in the subject line.

“We ask that everyone continue to respect the privacy of crime victims and their families, and we are grateful for your continued support during this challenging time,” the APD said on its Facebook page. “Continued gratitude is expressed to our public safety partners, including the FBI as we work to provide services to our community.”

Outpouring of Support, Love

(CREDIT: APD Facebook page)

The Aurora community has seen an outpouring of love, sympathy, sadness and respect in the past few days — from the #AuroraStrong hashtag on social media to a Sunday prayer vigil that brought 1,700 people to an outpouring of heartfelt cards, handwritten notes and social media compliments to the Aurora Police Department.

“In this moment of appreciation, we would like to offer our continued condolences to those in our community who have lost friends, colleagues, and loved ones,” the APD said. “Our hearts remain with you as we all work toward eventual healing.”