Today is the day after a tragic workplace shooting in Aurora. This is Laura Vaughn from The Weekend River.
Here is what we know this evening. Five people were killed including a lone gunman yesterday afternoon at The Henry Pratt Co. warehouse near Highland and Prarie. All of the victims work for Henry Pratt Co. Six police officers were injured (non-life threatening) responding to the shooting.
45-year-old Gary Martin of Aurora was the shooter. He also worked at The Henry Pratt Co. and yesterday was his exit interview as he was being released from his job, a job he worked for 15 years. Martin had a history of threatening behavior, having been arrested 6 times in Aurora for offenses including domestic violence and traffic incidents. He was convicted of felony aggravated assault in Mississippi in 1995. Despite this record, Martin was able to get an Illinois firearms owner identification card but his concealed carry application was denied. Martin’s FOID card was then revoked, but he never turned in his weapons.
Martin apparently shot the three people in the exit meeting with him, then stepped outside the office and shot 2 others. Here are the people who died yesterday:
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. NIU President Lisa C. Freeman released this statement: “It is with deep sadness that I write today to share that NIU student Trevor Wehner and alumnus Clay Parks were killed yesterday afternoon in the workplace shooting at Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, IL. Trevor was from Sheridan, IL, and expected to graduate in May with a degree in Human Resource Management. Friday was his first day as an intern at Henry Pratt. Clay was a 2014 graduate of the College of Business and worked as a human resources manager. Loss like this is devastating and senseless. I ask our university community to please keep the Wehner and Parks families, friends and communities in your hearts and offer them caring thoughts.”
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.
One other employee was injured and is being treated.
When police encountered Martin, about 90 minutes after the initial shootings, they found him waiting in a machine shop. A short gunfight ensued, where all of the officer victims were shot. Martin was also shot dead at that time. The injured officer’s names haven’t been released yet.
If you would like to help the victims families directly, a gofundme page has been set up. Here is the link.