AURORA, Ill. (AP) – An employee of a manufacturing company opened fire on Friday in his Chicago factory, killing five people and injuring five policemen before being shot, police said.
Police Chief Kristen Ziman of Aurora, Illinois, identified the gunman as 45-year-old Gary Martin and said he was suspected of being an employee of the Henry Pratt Co. – which manufactures valves for industrial purposes – in the city of about miles) west of Chicago. She said at a press conference that officers had arrived within four minutes of receiving information reporting the shooting and had been targeted as soon as they had entered the US. 29,000 square foot manufacturing warehouse.
Police said that they did not know the reason for the shooter.
"God bless the brave law enforcement officers who continue to run to danger," said Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker at the press conference.
Hospitals reported treating at least seven patients after the shooting, although their living conditions were not relaxed. Two of the officers were airlifted to trauma centers in Chicago, Ziman said. She said that a sixth officer had been injured in the knee. Officials did not specify the total number of people injured, including police and civilians.
Dozens of first-responder vehicles converged on the company's Aurora building after police received several calls from an active shooter at 1:24 pm. The gunman was arrested, officials said, and the Kane County coroner was on the scene.
The city sent a tweet Friday afternoon saying that there was an active shooter in an industrial park and that police were on the scene. They say that the shooter is in custody and that the area is still locked out.
Several ATF teams also reacted to the shooting and were on the scene, according to the spokesman of the agency in Chicago, and the FBI said it also reacted.
John Probst, an employee of the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, told ABC7 that he had left the back door by shooting Friday afternoon. Probst says that he recognized the gunman and that he works for the company.
"What I saw was a man running in the driveway with a gun with a laser," Probst said.
Probst said that he had not been hurt but that another colleague was "bleeding a lot".
"It is unfortunate that such shootings have become commonplace in our country.It would be a pity that a cold and heartless delinquent is selfish enough to think that he has the right to lead an innocent life." "said the mayor of Aurora, Richard C. Irvin told me.
Police and police cars monitored all points of access to Henry Pratt five hours after the first 911 calls about the shooting. The industrial park is surrounded by a neighborhood of modest houses with porch facades, some with American flags perched on the outside.
At the Acorn Woods Condominiums where Martin lived, a mix of brick apartments and condos nestled in a quiet street just one mile away from the gunfire, neighbors gathered on the sidewalks near Martin's unit wondered they knew or had come into contact with him.
Mary McKnight got out of her car with a cherry cheesecake bought for her son 's birthday, in order to find a multitude of police cars, officers and press trucks.
"It's a strange thing to go home to, no," she said. She had just learned that the shooter lived nearby and that his unit of the complex had been registered by the police.
Christy Fonseca 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.
Police cars with howling sirens passed her as she went to her mother's house, where the Henry Pratt building is visible from the porch steps. It was only when they flipped through the newscast that they realized that Martin had killed people a few hundred meters away.
"In Aurora, at the time, we never thought it would happen," said Fonseca, who has always lived in the suburbs of Chicago, watching the factory. Spokespeople at the Mercy Medical Center and the Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora did not immediately return messages indicating whether any of the hospitals were treating the victims of the shooting. No casualties had been sent to Good Samaritan's Downers Hospital lawyer nearby, Friday night, spokeswoman Kate Eller told The Associated Press.
Governor J. B. Pritzker tweeted that he was watching events and advising citizens to follow the instructions of law enforcement.
The White House said that President Donald Trump had been informed of the shooting and monitoring of the situation as he was preparing to leave for a weekend home in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump tweeted his thanks to the law enforcement officers in Aurora and offered his condolences to the victims and their families. "America is with you," he says.
The Mercy Presence Medical Center was treating two patients and a third had been transferred by helicopter to another hospital, spokesman Matt Wakely said. Lawyers at Good Samaritan Hospital and the Lutheran General Hospital each had a patient who was shot and wounded, spokeswoman Kate Eller said. Rush Copley Medical Center has received three patients from the shooting and all are being treated for life-threatening injuries, Courtney spokeswoman Satlak said.