Police Identify 5 Victims Killed in Workplace Shooting at a Manufacturing Plant in Aurora, Illinois
February 16, 2019
Shooter had a felony conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi in 1995, and should not have been able to purchase the gun.
An employee opened fire at an Aurora manufacturing plant Friday shortly after a meeting in which he was terminated from his job, authorities said.
Police said the suspected gunman, Gary Martin, 45, was in illegal possession of the gun used in the attack that killed five other employees and wounded five police officers. Martin was killed in a shootout with police.
The victims were identified as Clayton Parks, of Elgin; Trevor Wehner, of Dekalb; Russell Beyer, of Yorkville; Vicente Juarez, of Oswego; and Josh Pinkard, of Oswego. All five were employed by Henry Pratt Co.
Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said the officers wounded while responding to the scene of the shooting are recovering and another victim was being treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.
HR Intern Trevor Wehner, 22, was killed on his first day on the job. He was a student at Northern Illinois University. He is seen above with his girlfriend Winter Lane. Facebook
HR Manager Clayton Parks, seen with his family, was killed when an employee opened fire after he was told he was being fired. Facebook
Josh Pinkard, the Plant Manager, was also killed when the shooter opened fire. Facebook
Martin had six prior arrests by Aurora police, including for domestic violence related issues, and also had a felony conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi in 1995, authorities said.
Gary Martin, 45, has been identified as the shooter. Aurora Police Department
A local Aurora flower shop a few blocks away from Henry Pratt Co. will be donating flowers to the five victim's families.
Collen Hardekopf, owner of The Flower Basket, said she's been a florist in Aurora all her life and was amazed when she and her staff went on lockdown Friday afternoon.
"This is devastating to us and being so close, this is the least we can do for them," Hardekopf said. "I'm just devastated this could happen in our area."
The staff went into lockdown after hearing reports of an active shooter on a police scanner.
"I told our drivers who were out delivering to not come back to the store and just go home," Hardekopf said. "You never think it's going to happen here, and I never would have thought that in a million years. This is a wake-up call for all of us."
Hardekopf said all families should contact the shop for free flowers, like casket sprays, for funerals in the upcoming days.
Shooter Gary Martin, 45, had six prior arrests in Aurora, most involved traffic stops and domestic violence. He also had a felony conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi in 1995, authorities said.
Martin was issued an Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification Card in January 2014. Two months later, he purchased a Smith and Wesson .40-caliber handgun from an Aurora dealer.
He applied for a concealed carry permit shortly after purchasing the gun, according to police. During the fingerprinting and background process, Martin’s conviction in Mississippi was discovered and his concealed carry application was denied. He had also had his firearm license revoked by the Illinois State Police, Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said.
Given his FOID card had been revoked, police are now investigating how Martin still had a gun in his possession. That illegal gun was the one used in Friday’s shooting. — Stacy St. Clair
It was a very short gunfight and then it was over, Lt. Rick Robertson said. Police are currently unable to determine if the gunshot wound was self-inflicted. There was no verbal conversation between the officers and Martin at that time. There were a few employees who were sheltered in place.
Ziman said she knows Martin was called in. She says he might have been speculative of what might happen, since he was already armed with a firearm. She is unsure what was communicated to him beforehand. Several were shot in the room with him and there was another employee who was shot on another level of the building.
Police are still in the process of interviewing witnesses and have another 40 witnesses they still need to speak with. —Megan Jones
At the news conference, Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said according to a witness at the scene, Martin reported to work and during a meeting he was terminated. He opened fire right after the termination. Several people involved at that meeting are the ones deceased, police said.
He was in illegal possession of a firearm. He was issued with a FOID card in January 2014 and applied to purchase a handgun from a local gun dealer in Aurora in March 2014. In March 16, 2014, the shooter applied for a concealed carry permit where it was discovered he had a felony conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi. He was convicted on Aug. 3, 1995. Once this felony conviction was discovered, Martin's concealed carry permit was rejected and his FOID card was revoked by Illinois State Police. — Megan Jones
Deputy Chief Keefe Jackson said eight SWAT teams were used from federal to the local level, with 25 to 35 agencies responding and 200 to 300 police officers.
According to police, here is a breakdown of the timeline:
- 1:24: The original call came in and officers were dispatched to an active shooter call.
- 1:24: A caller said shots were being fired after an employee was being terminated.
- 1:28: First officers responded to the scene.
- 1:28: A determination was made to activate the special response team.
- 1:30: A first report was made of an officer being shot.
- 1:31: It was indicated that there were four victims upstairs and a victim in the bay area. All victims were determined to be deceased at that time.
- 1:32: More shots were fired and a second officer was reported being shot.
- 1:34: A third officer was reported shot.
- 1:35: A fourth officer was reported shot.
- 1:37-52: Personnel was responding to extract some of the employees and victims inside the building.
- 1:52 until 2:58: No contact was made with the offender.
- 2:58: Officers indicated contact was made and confirmation was made that Martin was killed.
— Megan Jones
Police and officials released a statement about the mass shooting Friday at an Aurora plant before holding a press conference Saturday:
We would like to begin this morning by providing an update on the condition of our officers who are still being treated for their injuries related to yesterday’s shooting incident. All five of our officers are recovering and are under the care of physicians in the Chicago metro area:
Officer 1 – Male, 39 years of age with 13 years of service here at the Aurora Police Department. This officer suffered a gunshot wound to his lower extremity and is in stable condition at a local hospital.
Officer 2 – Male, 52 years of age with 25 years of service at the Aurora Police Department. This officer suffered a gunshot wound to his upper extremity. He was treated and will be released from the hospital later this morning.
Officer 3 – Male, 52 years old with 24 years of service here at the Aurora Police Department, suffered a gunshot wound to the lower extremity. He was treated and released from a local hospital yesterday.
Officer 4, - Male, 53 years of age with 30 years of service. This officer also suffered a gunshot wound to the lower extremity and was treated at an area hospital.
Officer 5, - Male, 24 years of age with just under 4 years of service. This officer suffered a series of shrapnel wounds to the upper extremity. He is currently being treated and is in stable condition at a local hospital.
Officer 6, - Male, 23 years of age with 2 years of police service here at the Aurora Police Department suffered a minor injury while responding to the incident. This injury was not related to gunfire.
All of the officers’ injuries are considered non-life-threatening.
We would also like to provide limited information regarding the employees of Henry Pratt who were victims of yesterday’s shooting.
Clayton Parks, of Elgin, Illinois. Mr. Parks was the Human Resources Manager at Henry Pratt.
Trevor Wehner, of Dekalb, Illinois. Mr. Wehner was a Human Resources Intern at Henry Pratt and a student at Northern Illinois University.
Russell Beyer, of Yorkville, Illinois. Mr. Beyer was a Mold Operator at Henry Pratt.
Vicente Juarez of Oswego, Illinois. Mr. Juarez was a Stock Room Attendant and Fork Lift Operator at Henry Pratt.
Josh Pinkard, of Oswego, Illinois. Mr. Pinkard was the Plant Manager for Henry Pratt.
Another shooting victim, a male employee of Henry Pratt, was treated at an area hospital for non-life-threatening gunshot wounds sustained during the shooting incident.
Preliminary investigation indicates that the deceased victims were located in the same general area of the Henry Pratt facility. While this investigation is ongoing, we believe that there was only one assailant.
Here is what we know so far about the shooter, Gary Montez Martin.
- 45 years of age
- Lived in the 1900 block of Selmarten Road, Aurora
- Six prior arrests by the Aurora Police Department, including arrests for traffic and domestic violence relatedissues. Last arrest in Aurora in 2008 for violating an order of protection.
- Last arrest in 2017 by the Oswego, Illinois Police Department for Disorderly Conduct and Criminal Damage to Property.
Regarding the weapon used during the shooting event:
- January, 2014 the shooter was issued an Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card.
- On March 6, 2014, the shooter applied to purchase a handgun from a local gun dealer in Aurora.
- On March 11, 2014, the shooter took possession of a Smith and Wesson 40 caliber handgun from that same local dealer.
- On March 16, 2014, the shooter applied for a concealed carry permit at an unknown location. During the fingerprinting and background process it was discovered that he had a felony conviction for Aggravated Assault out of Mississippi. The date of that conviction was August 3, 1995. (It should be noted that this conviction would not necessarily have shown up on a criminal background check conducted for a FOID card)
- Once this felony conviction was discovered, the offender’s concealed carry permit was rejected, and his FOID card was revoked by the Illinois State Police.
- Blue Monster Prep