On a day when officers involved in the Henry Pratt mass shooting were awarded for their bravery, the Aurora Police Department announced those officers officially have been exonerated for their use of deadly force.
According to an Aurora Police Department news release issued this morning (Monday, April 29, 2019), the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office on Friday tendered its review of the Kane County Officer-Involved Shooting Task Force investigation of the shooting which occurred at the Henry Pratt facility on Feb. 15, 2019.
The review concludes that the police officers who responded to the incident — in which five Pratt workers were killed and five police officers were wounded — were justified in the performance of their duties.
Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon’s reveals details of the events of that day.
According to the forensic pathologist’s findings, Gary Martin’s death was caused by multiple gunshot wounds. Dr. Mitra Kalelkar performed the autopsy on Feb. 16.
Martin was shot in the middle of his forehead, twice in his left chest, his right chest, his middle chest and his right jaw — the last “likely a self-inflicted wound,” the report said.
Facts And Circumstances of Deadly Shooting
According to the state’s attorney’s report, Martin arrived at around 6:45 a.m. to the Henry Pratt facility at 641 Archer Ave., where he encountered Vincente Juarez near the time clock.
Martin told Juarez that he was concerned that he might be fired that day due to a violation regarding the use of safety glasses.
Martin stated to one employee: “If I get fired, I’m going to kill every (expletive) in here.” He also stated, “I am going to blow police up,” the report said.
The state’s attorney’s report says Martin likely brought a gun and ammunition into the plant that morning when he arrived to work.
Martin was called into a disciplinary meeting shortly after 1 p.m., where he was presented with a write-up and told he was being let go.
According to the report, when Martin started using profanity, Josh Pinkard, one of the Pratt employees conducting the meeting, said to him, “OK, it’s over.”
Martin replied, “Yeah, it is over,” and began shooting.
- 1:24:07 — Dispatch for active shooter
- 1:28:19 — Officers Weaver, John Cebulski, James Zegar and Sheldon enter the building.
- 1:30:14 — Officer Marco Gomez shot outside the building, in the parking lot.
- 1:32:59 — Officer John Cebulski shot inside the building.
- 1:34:16 — Officer Renaldo Rivera shot outside the building.
- 1:35:10 — Officers Adam Miller and James Zegar shot outside the building.
- 2:59:08 — Suspect is down.
Firearm, Ammunition and Magazine Recovered
Martin was armed with a Smith and Wesson M&P 40-caliber semi-automatic handgun, which was recovered from the floor. The weapon was loaded with one bullet chambered and six bullets in the magazine, with the gun’s hammer cocked, the report said.
Another magazine with 10 bullets was located in his pants pockets.
The Illinois State Police crime lab identified 64 fired cartridge casings recovered at the scene that had been fired by Martin’s handgun.
“All peace officers who responded to the incident scene and fired their weapons at the offender were justified in doing so,” the report said.
It noted that Martin had just committee multiple acts of first degree murder, was still armed, had fired multiple shots at police and had not responded to verbal commands.
“Based upon a review of the investigation, all officers at the scene of this incident had the reasonable belief that the deadly force they employed was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to themselves and other individuals as they attempted to locate and arrest the offender,” the report said.
Injured Police Officers
- Officer Marco Gomez
- Officer James Zegar
- Officer Adam Miller
- Officer John Cebulski
- Officer Reynaldo Rivera
Civilians Killed By Offender
- Russell Beyer
- Vicente Juarez
- Clayton Parks
- Trevor Herner
- Josh Pinkard
Celebration of Courage Event
The Aurora Police Department held a Celebration of Courage event this morning at the Paramount Theater to honor the men and women who responded to the deadly mass shooting.
Various awards will be presented include:
- The Blue Star Medal: Awarded for extreme bravery and heroism in the line of duty. The award was presented to those officers wounded by gunfire during the incident.
- The Medal of Valor: Awarded to the officers who demonstrated bravery and heroism during this incident, and was awarded to several officers, including those who provided life-saving rescue efforts.
- Medal of Merit: Awarded to professional staff who demonstrated exemplary efforts, including the performance of a number of telecom operators.
- Department Commendations: Presented to members of the APD whose efforts rose “above and beyond” the call of duty during and after the shooting incident.
- Divisional Commendations: Awarded to members of the organization who provided essential services, or otherwise contributed in an exemplary way.
SOURCE: Aurora Police Department news release, Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office officer-inolved shooting report