Five people died, five officers were wounded, and a sixth officer suffered a knee injury when Gary Martin, 45, opened fire in the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, Illinois on Friday. Martin was killed during a firefight with police. Martin had just been told he lost his job, according to Heavy.com.
Martin had worked for the Henry Platt company for 15 years as an assembler. He was laid off approximately two weeks prior to the shooting, and was reportedly upset, according to family members. Other outlets reported that he opened fire during his termination meeting, and continued to shoot throughout the plant.
Martin fired on police the minute they entered the building, five of them were struck by gunfire. Two were airlifted to trauma centers, the other three are being treated at local hospitals, according to CBS. The sixth officer suffered a knee injury. Police found the 5 deceased persons after they entered the plant. It is unclear if other civilians were shot.
Neighbors described Martin as someone who kept to himself and was “quiet.” His mother, Felicia Martin, told reported that her son was “stressed out” lately.
Jennifer White described today’s Aurora gunman Gary Martin as “quiet” and “kept to himself.” White lives in the same apartment complex as Martin. pic.twitter.com/L9zfi0OUgA— Michael Puente (@MikePuenteNews) February 16, 2019
“The shooter is identified as Gary Martin. He is a 45-year-old man and we believe he was an employee of the company. At this time we aren’t sure of the motive of this act of violence… [To the officers who were shot] Thank you for your selfless act. Thank you for running towards gunfire and putting your lives in danger to protect those inside the business. My heart goes out to victims and their families who simply went to work today like any other day. We offer our sincere condolences, and, as the facts of this tragedy unfold, we will provide information and attempt to make sense of it.” Police Chief Kristen Ziman, Aurora, Il
Martin had a criminal record. According to police, he once stabbed a woman in Mississippi in 1994, and was convicted of Aggravated assault in 1995. His offenses in Illinois were minor. Yet he had a handgun. With a laser scope.
Featured photo: screenshot of Gary Martin via CBS