Employee opens fire inside Illinois business killing 5, motive unknown

Gary Martin, an employee of an Aurora, Illinois manufacturing company went on a rampage today, killing five people and wounding five police officers. Martin was shot dead but police say his motive is unknown at this point. From the Associated Press:

Aurora, Illinois, Police Chief Kristen Ziman told a news conference that the gunman was 45-year-old Gary Martin and said he was believed to be an employee at the Henry Pratt Co. — which makes valves for industrial purposes — in the city about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Chicago. She told reporters that officers arrived within four minutes of receiving reports of the shooting and were fired upon as soon as they entered the 29,000-square-foot manufacturing warehouse.

Police said they did not know the gunman’s motive…

John Probst, an employee at the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, told ABC7 that he ran out of the back door as the shooting unfolded Friday afternoon. Probst says he recognized the gunman and that he works for the company.

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“What I saw was the guy running down the aisle with a pistol with a laser on it,” Probst said.

Probst said he wasn’t hurt but that another colleague was “bleeding pretty bad.”

While the AP is saying Martin was an employee, other reports suggest he was recently laid off:

Martin’s mother told the Chicago Sun-Times he had recently been laid off:

The mother of the gunman who shot up an Aurora factory Friday — killing five people and injuring five cops — said her son had been laid off recently and was “stressed out” before the incident…

“He was way too stressed out,” said the woman, who declined to give her name before embracing relatives outside the Aurora police station and leaving Friday evening.

And Chicago reporter Patrick Smith spoke to Martin’s sister gave a similar account:

If that’s accurate it would suggest one obvious motive for the crime, i.e. he was depressed and maybe angry at his former employer. There are conflicting reports about whether Martin was shot and killed by police or if he turned the gun on himself. This recent CBS report says police sent in a robot, found he was dead, and believe he was shot by police. However, it’s still early so take all of this with the usual grain of salt:

President Trump tweeted this reaction to the incident:

Here’s a video of the police briefing which took place a couple hours ago as I write this:

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