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Illinois shooter took gun to firing

by Mickey McLean
Posted 2/16/19, 11:17 am

UPDATE: The man who shot and killed five of his coworkers Friday at the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, Ill., brought a gun to a meeting where he was fired, according to police. Authorities have identified the five victims, including three who were in the room with him at the time of the firing and two who were just outside. A sixth person was shot but survived.

Police said Gary Montez Martin, 45, was able to purchase the Smith and Wesson .40-caliber handgun he used in the attack in March 2014 in Illinois because an initial background check failed to catch a 1995 felony conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi, which would have prohibited him from owning a gun. The conviction did appear after Martin applied for a concealed carry permit five days later, which was denied. Illinois State Police then sent Martin a letter demanding he voluntarily surrender the weapon. Investigators are looking into why he didn’t hand over the gun and whether state police took any other measures to confiscate it.

Authorities also said Martin had six prior arrests in the Chicago area, including domestic battery-related charges.

UPDATE (2/16/19, 11:17 a.m.): The gunman who shot and killed five coworkers and wounded five police officers Friday in Aurora, Ill., was fired from his job that day, according to Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman. Gary Montez Martin, 45, had worked for the Henry Pratt Co. for 15 years. The company and law enforcement officials have not released why he was fired. It is not known whether his victims, all male, were involved in Martin’s dismissal. Martin was killed in a shootout with police after a 90-minute search of the company’s warehouse. The five wounded police officers were hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening.

OUR EARLIER REPORT (2/15/19, 7:42 p.m.): A gunman opened fire Friday afternoon at a manufacturing plant in Aurora, Ill., killing five people and wounding five police officers before police fatally shot him. Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman identified the shooter as Gary Montez Martin, 45, who was believed to be an employee at the Henry Pratt Co. Ziman told reporters at a news conference Friday evening that officers arrived within four minutes after receiving reports of a shooting at the suburban Chicago manufacturing warehouse and were met with gunfire. Two of the officers were airlifted to trauma centers in Chicago. Hospitals in the area report treating at least seven people from the shooting but did not release their conditions. Police so far do not know the motive for the shooting.

President Donald Trump was briefed on the incident as he prepared to leave for a weekend trip to his home in Palm Beach, Fla. The president praised law enforcement and offered condolences to the victims and their families in a tweet, saying, “America is with you!”

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Mickey McLean

Mickey is executive editor of WORLD Digital.

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  • Xion's picture
    Posted: Sat, 02/16/2019 02:30 pm

    The shooter Gary Martin was not supposed to own a gun because of a 1995 aggravated assault conviction.  Illinois state police demanded he return his gun, but he ignored them.  This tragedy occurred in a state with some of the strictist gun laws by a person who was specifically disallowed from owning a gun.  Gee, those gun laws are really working.  Maybe we should pass a law requiring criminals to obey the law.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Sat, 02/16/2019 03:49 pm

    Xion, my thoughts exactly. With laws in place that should have prevented this fellow’s possession of a gun, maybe Illinois authorities should focus on enforcing the law. 

    But I suspect the reaction from the Illinois powers-that-be, as well as all libs, will be “we need more laws!”

  • austinbeartux's picture
    Posted: Sat, 02/16/2019 07:50 pm

    I'm curious whether Illinois laws enable the the other law abiding employees to carry concealed handguns.   Anybody know?

  • MTJanet
    Posted: Sun, 02/17/2019 12:56 pm

    I just have one suggestion - could we please not have a picture of the shooter but rather of the victims or their families or even the workplace?  It is hard to look at the literal face of evil; it seems more appropriate to see the victims/etc and pray for their grieving families/friends.  This seems backwards somehow as there is nothing to do for the dead but much to do for the living.  

  • Bob C
    Posted: Tue, 02/26/2019 01:09 pm

    I think I get your point, but the last thing the grieving families of the victims need is someone asking for pictures of anything and there is a picture of the work place and one showing several police cars posted here.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Mon, 02/18/2019 02:11 pm

    I read elsewhere this morning, one of the victims was able to text his wife and tell her he loved her before he died. At least a small measure of comfort for her and their children.