6 dead, including shooter, and 5 officers wounded in attack at Aurora manufacturing firm


Antonio Perez | Chicago Tribune

6 dead, including shooter, and 5 officers wounded in attack at Illinois manufacturing firm.

By Chicago Tribune

AURORA, Ill. – Six people, including a gunman, died in a shooting at a manufacturing firm in a Chicago suburb Friday afternoon, and five officers were struck by gunfire, officials said Friday.

Authorities confirmed the shooter, Gary Martin, 45, was killed in a shootout with police. Police believe he was an employee at Henry Pratt Co. in the industrial park in Aurora, about 30 miles west of Chicago. They said they did not know the motive.
Martin’s mother told WGN: “My heart goes out to all the victims.”

Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said the department received a call for shots fired around 1:24 p.m. at 641 Archer Ave., a manufacturing warehouse. At 1:28 p.m., officers were fired upon immediately and two of the four officers who entered at first were shot.


Presence Mercy Medical Center spokesman Matt Wakely said that the hospital received three victims from the shooting, According to The Associated Press. Wakely said two were being treated and the third has been transferred via helicopter to another hospital. No conditions were available.

No victims had been sent to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove as of Friday evening, spokeswoman Kate Eller told AP.

Rush Copley Hospital said in a tweet it had received three patients from the shooting in Aurora, and did not expect to receive more. Earlier in the day, the hospital said it had received two patients.

An employee named John Probst told the local ABC affiliate he was in the building when the shooting took place. He identified the gunman as a co-worker.

“One of the guys was up in the office, he said this person was shooting and he come running down and he was bleeding pretty bad,” he said. ” … What I saw was the guy running down the aisle with a pistol with a laser on it.”

Bob Gonzalez, president of the school board of the nearby West Aurora School District 129, lives and works what he estimated was 50 feet from the Henry Pratt Co. His twin 4-year-old grandchildren were in his home upstairs and he was talking with a client in his State Farm office downstairs when they heard sirens and squad cars fly by.

They at first assumed it was a fire, but when the squads kept coming for the next 20 minutes, they knew it was more. He saw cars from Aurora and other nearby agencies, state police troopers and a homeland security vehicle.


As soon as he heard it was a shooting, he locked the doors to his office, closed the blinds upstairs, took his grandchildren to a bathroom in the back of the apartment and told them to stay away from the windows. They asked questions and he tried to keep them calm, telling them that maybe it was just a fire, “but I was very scared at the same time,” he said.

Appearing at a news conference with Aurora officials, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said there was no way for him to prepare for this kind of event, the first tragedy of his administration.

“There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams and their futures,” he said. “There are no words to express our gratitude to the officers who were wounded in the line of duty as they responded to the gravest kind of danger they could face.”

Illinois Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge President Chris Southwood issued a statement regarding the shooting. The four officers are members of Aurora FOP Lodge # 11, according to a news release.

“Every police officer dreads days like this one, yet these four courageous Aurora officers and their colleagues did not hesitate to literally put their lives on the line today to stop further bloodshed. These four heroes willingly ran into harm’s way to protect their fellow citizens and very nearly paid the ultimate price. We Illinoisans should be humbly grateful for their sacrifice, and we ask that you join us in praying that the injured civilians and police officers make a full and speedy recovery.”

Madeline Buckley, Sarah Freishtat, Peter Kendall, Steve Lord and Megan Jones contributed to this report.