AURORA, Ill. —
Five people are dead, five City of Aurora police officers were injured and multiple other civilians were injured in an active shooter situation in west suburban Aurora Friday afternoon. The gunman is also dead, police said.
Aurora police said that officers responded to the Henry Pratt Company just before 1:30 p.m. Police said two of the four first officers on the scene were fired upon immediately. More officers arrived as backup and were also fired upon.
Police said five officers were shot and injured. Police said they found five dead inside the building. More civilians were injured in the shooting.
WATCH: Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman update on shooting
A SWAT force entered the 29,000 square foot building and found the gunman, identified as 45-year-old Gary Martin. Police said the officers engaged Martin in gunfire and he was killed. Police believe Martin was an employee of Henry Pratt. Police said his motive is not yet known. It was not immediately clear if Martin was among the five dead found inside the building.
The ABC7 I-Team said law enforcement sources told them Martin was told Friday he was being fired from the company where he had worked for about 15 years as an assembler, and that it was during his termination meeting that he produced his gun and began firing, then went out into the plant at large and continued shooting.
There is a large law enforcement presence at Martin’s apartment as investigators try to determine his motive and whether any part of this attack may have been planned.
“Thank you for your selfless act,” said Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman, addressing the officers who were injured. “Thank you for running towards gunfire and putting your lives in danger to protect those inside the business. My heart goes out to victims and their families who simply went to work today like any other day. We offer our sincere condolences, and, as the facts of this tragedy unfold, we will provide information and attempt to make sense of it.”
WATCH: Governor JB Pritzker speaks about Aurora shooting
“There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures,” said Governor JB Pritzker, who also attended the press briefing.
“Our hearts go out to the victims in this horrific tragedy. Our prayers to their families during what I’m sure will be a long and painful healing process. But we will heal. We will come together as one community and stand by those in pain from today’s great loss. We will stand together with those officers shot in the line of duty. We will come together and heal as One Aurora,” said Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin.
WATCH: Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin speaks about deadly shooting
Police said they will hold another press briefing at 9 p.m. to update the public with more details.
The officers who were injured are in stable condition, according to City of Aurora representative Clayton Mohammed.
Hospital officials said three civilians were sent to Mercy Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, and three civilians were sent to Rush Copley Medical Center, for a total of six. None of their conditions were available. One of the victims was transferred from Mercy Hospital to Good Samaritan Hospital in unknown condition.
ATF and FBI agents responded to the scene at approximately 2:37 p.m.
Officials have said how many citizens, in total, were injured or what their conditions are.
West Aurora Schools were on soft lockdown for several hours. The lockdown was lifted at about 3:30 p.m. and students were dismissed.
John Probst, a Henry Pratt employee who escaped the building, said he saw a man holding a pistol with a laser sight. He said he recognized the shooter as a coworker.
There would have been approximately 30 people in the building at the time of the shooting, Probst said.
Probst said he saw other coworkers injured and that the shooter was firing indiscriminately.
“Like I said, we were just scared”: Active shooting survivor describes escape
“One of the guys was up in the office, he said this person was shootin’, and, he come running down and he was bleeding pretty bad, and the next thing you know he was walking back and forth, I heard more shots, and we just left the building,” Probst said.
Probst said he and a coworker escaped through the back door. Probst said a nearby resident allowed Probst and his coworker to shelter in his home.
‘They had no coats on, so I let them in”: Homeowner describes giving shelter to active shooting survivors
Officials have asked that residents on the west side of Aurora to remain sheltered until the search for the shooter has ended.
The Henry Pratt Company is located in the 400-block of South Highland Avenue.
At approximately 2:20 p.m., several SWAT officers were visible outside the Henry Pratt building and the scene appeared to still be active. Several ambulances were being staged away from the building for any potential victims.
Witnesses reported that there were at least 30 police cars on the scene.
Senator Dick Durbin tweeted Friday afternoon to express his gratitude for law enforcement officers who helped bring the shooter into custody.
My heart breaks for Aurora. I’m tracking updates on the situation with my staff. Thank you to the members of law enforcement who are responding to the emergency.
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) February 15, 2019
Governor JB Pritzker said in a tweet that he is monitoring the situation.
I am monitoring the shooting in Aurora and encourage all residents to follow the directives of their local law enforcement.
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) February 15, 2019
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said President Donald Trump has been briefed on the shooting.
Great job by law enforcement in Aurora, Illinois. Heartfelt condolences to all of the victims and their families. America is with you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2019
The Illinois FOP said in a statement released Friday:
“Every police officer dreads days like this one, yet these four courageous Aurora officers and their colleagues did not hesitate to literally put their lives on the line today to stop further bloodshed. These four heroes willingly ran into harm’s way to protect their fellow citizens and very nearly paid the ultimate price. We Illinoisans should be humbly grateful for their sacrifice, and we ask that you join us in praying that the injured civilians and police officers make a full and speedy recovery.”
This is a breaking story that will be updated as information becomes available.
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