Six people are dead, including the alleged gunman, and five police officers were wounded following an active shooter situation at a a sprawling industrial complex in Aurora.
Aurora police have confirmed that five police officers were also shot as they tried to get to the shooter inside the 29,000-square-foot building. All five have been transported to local hospitals, and a sixth officer suffered a knee injury.
On Saturday morning, police identified the five victims as:
- Clayton Parks of Elgin, Illinois
- Trevor Wehner of DeKalb, Illinois
- Russell Beyer of Yorkville, Illinois
- Vicente Juarez of Oswego, Illinois
- Josh Pinkard of Oswego, Illinois
Police have not established a motive in the shooting, but believe that the shooter, identified as 45-year-old Gary Martin, was a former employee of the business. Chief of Police Kristen Ziman said investigators believe Martin was fired the day of the rampage. She said Martin used a Smith & Wesson handgun in the shooting.
Aurora police have not yet identified the victims, but families can go to Aurora University's public safety building for unification. Ziman did say all of the fatalities were male as well as the wounded officers.
The city's Twitter account posted at 3 p.m. "the shooter has been apprehended." Police said the scene was secured and the "shooter is no longer a threat to the area."
FBI, ATF Among Massive Response to Aurora Active Shooter Situation
At least one person was confirmed dead in the shooting, according to Chris Nelson, a spokesperson for Kane County Coroner Rob Russell's office. Further information on the fatality was not immediately known.
At least two patients from the area were taken to Presence Mercy Medical Center, but their conditions remained unknown, the hospital said. According to Olga Solares with Amita Health and Presence Mercy Medical Center, the hospital was placed on its highest alert to respond to the shooting.
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Rush Copley Medical Center also said it has received three patients who are being treated for non-life threatening injuries. Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital and Advocate Lutheran General Hospital also reported receiving one patient each. Conditions were not immediately known, according to Advocate Aurora Health.
The mayor's office confirmed four officers were injured but were in stable condition. Spokesperson Clayton Mohammad also reported civilian injuries but would not say how many. The office declined to comment on the condition of the suspect.
Around 2 p.m., Aurora police said command staff were responding to 641 Archer Ave. for "an active shooter incident." Residents were urged to avoid the area as the city sent out an alert of "an active shooter near Highland and Archer."
Illinois State Police District 5 said it was sending troopers to the scene. The ATF and FBI Chicago also said they were responding.
Police said they were responding to the Henry Pratt Company, a valve manufacturing plant located at 401 S. Highland Ave. near Prairie and Archer. Police, SWAT and ambulance vehicles were seen swarming the area.
An employee at Henry Pratt who wished to remain anonymous told NBC 5 he and his coworkers heard "many, many gunshots" before running into an old, unused men's bathroom in the building to hide.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the president has been briefed and "is monitoring the ongoing situation in Aurora."
Gov. JB Pritzker also said he was "monitoring the shooting" and encouraged all residents to "follow the directives of their local law enforcement."
Holy Angels Catholic School said it was on lockdown amid the report.
West Aurora School District 129 said all students were being held in place "for their safety" after "reports of an active shooter at the Henry Pratt building." All 18 schools in the district were on lockdown, according to Board President Bob Gonzalez.
"Per directions from the county sheriff, the District has been advised to go into soft lockdown situation across the district. Teaching will continue with reduced movement. Normal operations will resume when the soft lockdown has been lifted. No one will be allowed to leave or enter our buildings until the lockdown has been lifted," the district wrote on Facebook.
“They’ve had drills, and they’re used to it, but you can never get used to the real thing," a mom of a student told NBC 5. "I just want to go pick them up and give them a hug. It’s really hard. I can’t concentrate right now."
By 3:30 p.m., the district said will begin dismissing schools in 40-minute intervals. For a schedule of dismissals click here.
Aurora university said all classes were canceled for the remainder of the day Friday on the school's main campus following the incident.
Diana Muniz, an employee at Taqueria Muniz, said a customer reported hearing numerous shots in the area.
“The customer said they heard one shot fired, then more shots like ‘boom, boom, boom,'" she told NBC 5.
Aurora police planned to host a third press conference at 10 a.m. Saturday.