A man who was an ex-employee at an Illinois factory started an open fire that killed 5 of his fellow workers and injured 5 police officers after receiving a termination letter on Friday.
Kristen Ziman the Aurora Police Chief said that the gunman has been identified as 45-year-old Gary Martin who worked at the Henry Pratt Company for 15 consecutive years, after getting the termination letter he got angry which led to the violence and started to shoot at his fellow workers, the incident happened in their facility in Aurora which is 65 kilometers west of Chicago.
In a late-night news conference that was held for the incident, Police Chief Kristen Ziman said that it is still not clear if Gary Martin who was armed with a Smith & Wesson handgun was carrying the handgun when he got the termination letter or he went back to get it before he started to shoot in the facility.
A witness said that he saw Gary Martin running through the building with a handgun that had a laser sight fitted to it.
Ziman also said that it is also unclear what was the degree to which the open fire was premeditated.
Kristen Ziman the Aurora Police Chief said: “The information that we have indicates he was being terminated today, adding that the reason for his dismissal was not known to police.”
Kristen Ziman the Aurora Police Chief said that investigators found that Gary Martin was also convicted in 1995 for aggravated assault in Mississippi.
In recent years the USA has seen a lot of gun violence which led to the death of a lot of people and even kids. This incident came one day after the anniversary of the massacre that happened at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida that killed 17 people.
The 5 injured policemen and an employee who attained life-threatening injuries are currently being treated at local hospitals and are expected to survive.
The police are still looking at the possibilities to establish and see what type of relationship the shooter had with the victims and see if they were his supervisors.
Kristen Ziman the Aurora Police Chief also said that the 5 officers that got injured were shot in the first 5 minutes after they arrived in the factory, the warehouse plant currently employs 200 workers and which is spread through 29,000 square feet in Aurora the 2nd largest City in Chicago Illinois.
In the early minutes of the open fire the police tried to confront Gary Martin, but after 90 minutes they holed up inside the factory, Gary started to shoot at the officers, and after the police officers returned fire they killed him.
Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker said: “May God bless the brave law enforcement officers who continued to run toward danger.”
Kristen Ziman the Aurora Police Chief said that officers have already searched his residence as part of the investigation that will be going on and called the shooting a “classic workplace shooting”, the preliminary evidence that they gathered show that he acted alone in the gun violence.
In the LinkedIn page of Gary Martin, it showed that he was a valve assembler in the Henry Pratt Plant a company that is subsidiary of the Atlanta-based Mueller Water Products.
Mueller tweeted: “Mueller Water Products is shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy that occurred today at our Henry Pratt facility.”
The Mueller Company said: “Our hearts are with the victims and their loved ones, the first responders, the Aurora community and the entire Mueller family during this extremely difficult time.”