AP

Police: Aurora attacker used gun he shouldn’t have owned

Feb 16, 2019, 5:16 PM

This undated booking photo provided by the Aurora Illinois Police Department shows Gary Montez Mart...

This undated booking photo provided by the Aurora Illinois Police Department shows Gary Montez Martin, who police say killed multiple people at a suburban Chicago manufacturing warehouse after he was fired, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. (Aurora Illinois Police Department via AP)

(Aurora Illinois Police Department via AP)

AURORA, Ill. (AP) — The man who opened fire and killed five co-workers including the plant manager, human resources manager and an intern working his first day at a suburban Chicago manufacturing warehouse, took a gun he wasn’t supposed to have to a job he was about to lose.

Right after learning Friday that he was being fired from his job of 15 years at the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, Gary Martin pulled out a gun and began shooting, killing the three people in the room with him and two others just outside and wounding a sixth employee, police said Saturday.

Martin shot and wounded five of the first officers to get to the scene, including one who didn’t even make it inside the sprawling warehouse in Aurora, Illinois, a city of 200,000 about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Chicago.

After that flurry of shots and with officers from throughout the region streaming in to help, he ran off and hid in the back of the building, where officers found him about an hour later and killed him during an exchange of gunfire, police said.

“He was probably waiting for us to get to him there,” Aurora police Lt. Rick Robertson said. “It was just a very short gunfight and it was over, so he was basically in the back waiting for us and fired upon us and our officers fired.”

Like in many of the country’s mass shootings, Friday’s attack was carried out by a man with a violent criminal history who was armed with a gun he wasn’t supposed to have.

Martin, 45, had six arrests over the years in Aurora, for what police Chief Kristen Ziman described as “traffic and domestic battery-related issues” and for violating an order of protection. He also had a 1995 felony conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi that should have prevented him from buying his gun, Ziman said.

He was able to buy the Smith and Wesson .40-caliber handgun on March 11, 2014, because he was issued a firearm owner’s identification card two months earlier after passing an initial background check. It wasn’t until he applied for a concealed carry permit five days after buying the gun and went through a more rigorous background check using digital fingerprinting that his Mississippi conviction was flagged and his firearm owner’s ID car was revoked, Ziman said. Once his card was revoked, he could no longer legally have a gun.

“Absolutely, he was not supposed to be in possession of a firearm,” she said.

But he was, and on Friday he took it and several magazines of ammunition to work.

Scott Hall, president and CEO of Mueller Water Products Inc., which owns Henry Pratt, said that Martin came to work for his normal shift Friday and was being fired when he started shooting.

“We can confirm that the individual was being terminated Friday for a culmination of a various workplace rules violations,” he told a news conference Saturday. He gave no details of the violations by Martin at the plant that makes valves for industrial purposes.

A company background check of Martin when he joined Henry Pratt 15 years ago did not turn up a 1995 felony conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi, Hall said.

The employee who survived being shot is recovering at a hospital, Ziman said Saturday. None of the officers who were shot received life-threatening wounds, she said.

Police identified the slain workers as human resources manager Clayton Parks of Elgin; plant manager Josh Pinkard of Oswego; mold operator Russell Beyer of Yorkville; stock room attendant and fork lift operator Vicente Juarez of Oswego; and human resources intern and Northern Illinois University student Trevor Wehner, who lived in DeKalb and grew up in Sheridan.

It was Wehner’s first day on the job, his uncle Jay Wehner told The Associated Press. Trevor Wehner, 21, was on the dean’s list at NIU’s business college and was on track to graduate in May with a degree in human resource management.

“He always, always was happy. I have no bad words for him. He was a wonderful person. You can’t say anything but nice things about him,” Jay Wehner said of his nephew.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

AP

From left: Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler, Hunter Schafer and Josh Andres Rivera attend the premiere of "...

JAKE COYLE, AP

‘Hunger Games’ feasts, ‘Napoleon’ conquers but ‘Wish’ doesn’t come true at Thanksgiving box office

Disney's “Wish” had been expected to rule the Thanksgiving weekend box office, but moviegoers instead feasted on leftovers.

8 days ago

a sign says "hostage deal ceasefire"...

Sam Herrera

Israeli official says talks continuing, hostage release won’t take place before Friday

There was no explanation for the delay, and it was not immediately clear when the cease-fire might begin.

12 days ago

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A 23-year-old Taylor Swift fan died at the singer's Eras Tour concert in R...

DIANE JEANTET Associated Press

Taylor Swift fan dies at Rio concert as fans complain about high temperatures and lack of water

A 23-year-old Taylor Swift fan has died at the singer’s Eras Tour concert in Rio de Janeiro, according to the show's organizer.

17 days ago

Abortion rights protestors rally on July 4, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

BROOKE SCHULTZ Associated Press/Report for America

Pennsylvania House passes ‘shield law’ to protect providers, out-of-staters seeking abortions

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives has passed a measure seeking to protect those who come to Pennsylvania to get abortions.

19 days ago

U.S. Capitol Police stand outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. Protesters...

MIKE PESOLI and CHRIS MEGERIAN Associated Press

Police make arrests after protest outside Democratic HQ calling for cease-fire in Israel-Hamas war

Police in the nation’s capital have responded to a protest outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee.

19 days ago

Eight high school students in Las Vegas between the ages of 13 and 17 were arrested Tuesday on susp...

Associated Press

8 high school students in Las Vegas arrested on murder charges in fatal beating of classmate

Las Vegas police say investigators are still working to identify two more students who participated in the Nov. 1 fight.

20 days ago

Sponsored Articles

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

Police: Aurora attacker used gun he shouldn’t have owned