Aurora fires six dead, including an armed man


Updated at 9:45 pm

An armed man opened fire on an Aurora manufacturing company on Friday afternoon, killing five and wounding five police officers before the cops shot and killed the gunman, police said.

Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman identified the shooter as Gary Martin, 45. She stated that the police "believed that he was an employee" of the company Henry Pratt.

Ziman said Martin had been working at Henry Pratt for 15 years and that he was going to be fired on Friday.

Martin's sister, Tameka Martin, gave a different version of her employment history. She added that Martin had been working at Henry Pratt for at least 20 years, until he lost his job a few weeks earlier.

"He fired at officers, so they killed and killed them, I guess they defended themselves," Martin said.

The names of the five people found dead inside the building have not yet been disclosed, but police said they were all employees of Henry Pratt.

Another employee was hospitalized for life-threatening injuries, the police said.

"Today 's day is sad for the city of Aurora," said Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin. "The horrible feeling we experience when we see it on the news, experiencing it first-hand is even more painful."

Ziman said the officers responded at 1:24 pm "Multiple calls for an active shooter" and "were fired immediately."

The police eventually entered the 29,000-square-foot building, where she found Martin with a Smith & Wesson handgun. Officers killed Martin during an exchange of gunfire, Ziman said.

Five officers were shot dead – including two of the first four – during the confrontation, said the leader. All five were taken to local hospitals and two were flown to the Chicago area for further treatment. Some of the officers remained in operation Friday night, but all their injuries are considered life-threatening, the police said.

President Donald Trump tweeted, "Excellent work from law enforcement in Aurora, Illinois. My sincere condolences to all the victims and their families. America is with you!

"God bless the brave law enforcement officers who continue to run to danger," Governor JB Pritzker said at a press conference held Friday night.

The wounded were led to:

  • The Presence Mercy Medical Center in Aurora was treating two patients, and a third was transferred by helicopter to another hospital, said spokesman Matt Wakely.
  • Lawyer Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove and Lawyer Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge each had a patient shot, said spokeswoman Kate Eller.
  • Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora received three patients in the wake of the shooting and all are being treated for life-threatening injuries, Courtney spokeswoman Satlak said.

"There are crazy things going on"

Henry Pratt is a manufacturer of valves for the potable water, wastewater, power generation and industrial markets, and is headquartered in Aurora, a city of more than 200,000 people. about 40 km west of Chicago.

It is about 2 km from Aurora University, used by government officials as a reunification center where family members can get more information about the victims.

Greg Zanis, a resident of the Aurora, who drew the country's attention to the cross when he placed crosses on mass fire sites across the country, said he had never thought that a mass shooting would take place in his hometown.

"Now our streets are covered with blood," said Zanis. "The streets I've been driving for 50 or 60 years. And now this is happening. "

Zanis said he would like to make crosses with the names of the victims and put them near the company Henry Pratt.

Previously, all schools in West Aurora School District 129 were locked out. Parents were alerted by mass text and phone messages. The schools lifted the isolation around 15:30. and started firing students every 40 minutes.

Aurora's parent, Carly Zabinski, a teacher in a different district, has received some of these SMS and phone calls.

"As a teacher myself, I know that teachers train to keep students calm and safe," she said. "I followed this training."

Zabinski stated that she knew that the school had a plan in place, but that she was still afraid for her son, a second-class student at Goodwin Elementary School, about five miles from the shooting .

"I'm trying to prepare myself to solve this problem with a 7-year-old girl," she said as she approached to pick up her son. "How can I make him understand that he is safe, but at the same time, crazy things are happening."

Martin's neighbors react

At the Acorn Woods Condominiums, where Martin lived, a mix of brick apartments and condos is tucked away in a quiet street just 1.5 miles from the scene of the shooting.

Neighbors gathered on the sidewalks near Martin's unit Friday night and wondered if they knew him.

Jennifer White, who reported living in her building, described Martin as a "normal guy" who seemed to live alone and "kept to himself".

Christy Fonseca said she often worries about some gang-related crimes and shooting in her mother's Aurora neighborhood. But she did not expect to receive her mother's phone call on Friday, warning her to pay attention to the active shooter in town.

"In Aurora, period, we never thought it would happen," Fonseca said.

Susie An, Michael Puente and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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