There are a lot of days that stand out since I started working at The River, but none more so that February 15, 2019, the day a disgruntled employee took five lives and injured six officers and an employee at the Henry Pratt plant in Aurora.
I wanted to take this time and space to play back some of the moments from the days that followed, including our live fundraising broadcast from Luigi’s (at site that was used as a portion of the staging area during the shooting).
Clayton Parks of Elgin. Parks was a relatively new Human Resources Manager, just hired in November of last year.
Trevor Wehner of DeKalb. Wehner was also new to Henry Pratt Co. As a matter of fact, Friday was his first day. A Northern Illinois University student, Wehner was a human resources intern.
Russell Beyer of Yorkville worked at Henry Pratt Co for more than 20 years Beyer was a mold operator and the union charman.
Vicente Juarez of Oswego was a forklift operator for Henry Pratt since 2006. Juarez is known as a hard-working family man.
Josh Pinkard of Oswego was the Plant Manager. He worked for the company for 13 years, mostly at another location, and hadn’t even been at the aurora plant for a year. Pinkard was a 37-year-old father of three.
Here’s the video of a moment of silence at Amazing Grace being sung live on air by Gina Glockson.
Do you remember the 10-year-old who started the SWAG group at school (Students Who Are Great) and raised money selling Aurora Strong t-shirts? Here’s an interview with him on the Mackay in the morning show!
Or the time someone dropped a $1,000 tip during a fundraiser at Gillerson’s in downtown Aurora?
How about this moment when Mitch Michaels talked with the daughter of Vicente Juarez.
A week after the shooting, APD Chief Kristen Ziman was on the Mackay in the Morning show to talk about the tragedy.
Not long after that, the officers who were injured responding to the call were honored on stage at the Paramount in downtown Aurora:
There is now a new exhibit at the Aurora Historical Society, commemorating those who we lost that day.
The #AuroraStrong GoFundMe account piled in over $500,000 to support the victims’ families, and I’m sure the actual number is much higher.