Aurora police chief Kristin Zimen confirmed that the suspect, 45-year-old Gary Martin, was killed in a shootout with police after firing on several civilians as well as officers who had gone to the warehouse of the Henry Pratt Company after reports of shooting. It was not known immediately if Martin was among the five victims.
At a brief press conference, Zimen said that officers had been "immediately shot at" after responding to the 29,000-square-foot warehouse around 1:30 pm Central time. The police think Martin was an employee of the warehouse.
Tameka Martin, who identified herself with WBEZ Chicago as the sister of the gunman, said Martin had been fired by Henry Pratt two weeks ago. She said Martin had worked there for at least 20 years.
"He fired on officers, they shot and killed him, they would defend themselves, I suppose." Martin told WBEZ.
Police said the five wounded officers were taken to local hospitals, two of which were transferred to trauma centers. A sixth officer injured his knee. Police did not answer questions but scheduled a second press conference on Friday night. The police did not specify if other people had been injured or how many.
Gabriel Gonzales, a veteran of the Iraq war who can see Henry Pratt's warehouse from his garden, said the number of police vehicles, flashing lights and armored vehicles on Friday afternoon gave him flashes. -back.
"When you are a combat zone, you expect it," Gonzales said. "I've never seen so many policemen anywhere."
He watched his grandchildren, fascinated by the activity unfolding through the window, and worried about their brother Anthony, whose school had been locked up.
"My grandson had a lock up in a school at the age of 8. I mean, can you believe that?" Gonzalez said. "When I was a kid, it was just tornadoes."
Tiffany Probst, a 38-year-old legal assistant, said her best friend had read an article on Facebook about the shooting and that she had started texting "so that your father might be at home." ; inside! "
His father, John, worked as a machinist in the building for over 40 years. He has three grown children and five grandchildren. Probst has rushed to the factory but everything has been blocked by the police.
"I knew that there was no way to call it because it's old high school and never has a cell phone," she heard while she was there. a friend gave interviews on television and spoke with the police.
"He is safe and talks to the news," she said. "He does not talk much, but when it comes to that, I can tell by his voice that he's really shaking." We're looking forward to hug him. "
Senator Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Tweeted Friday that she was following the situation. "It's a scary and sad day for all the inhabitants of Illinois and the Americans," wrote Duckworth. "Thanks to the brave first responders who risked their lives this afternoon and apprehended the shooter."
"My heart breaks for Aurora," said Senator Richard Durbin, D-Ill. "I am currently following up on the situation with my staff, thanks to the members of the security forces who are responding to the emergency situation.
Nancy Caal, who works at Erwin's Truck Repair near the scene of the shooting, told The Post that she had heard the din of mermaids as police cars and ambulances rushed into the bus. 39 building behind his.
She and two other people closed the store when they saw heavily armed officers heading for the adjacent Henry Pratt warehouse.
"Nobody told us anything," she said. "But we closed the doors and closed the shop."
The news of an active shooter confirmed their fears shortly after.
"We are pretty nervous," said Caal. "It seems like something big is going on there."
Additional details were not immediately available.
This article was written by Michael Brice-Saddler, Emily Wax-Thibodeaux and Reis Thebault, Washington Post reporters.