A gunman was shot dead by law enforcement after murdering five people and injuring at least seven others — including five police officers — at a factory in Aurora, Illinois on Friday.
The gunman is believed to be a former employee of the Henry Pratt manufacturing plant who had recently lost his job, according to multiple media reports.
“When (police) located the offender, they engaged in gunfire with him, ultimately killing him,” Police Chief Kristen Ziman said at a press conference late Friday. Ziman identified the shooter as Gary Martin, 45.
A SWAT team was on the scene within 10 minutes of the first call to authorities, and was later joined by agents from local FBI and ATF bureaus, which confronted the gunman in the sprawling 29,000-square foot factory located some 40 miles outside of Chicago.
The five wounded police officers are all listed in stable condition. The conditions of the surviving civilians — who were taken to three local hospitals — are unknown at this time.
John Probst, an employee who escaped the building told WLS that the shooter was a co-worker and “he was walking back and forth, I heard more shots, and we just left the building.” Probst described the weapon as a “pistol with a laser sight.”
The first authorities arrived on the scene around 3:20 p.m. ET. The city’s Twitter account announced that the suspect had been apprehended around 4 p.m. ET.
EMERGENCY UPDATE | 3 p.m.
THE SHOOTER HAS BEEN APPREHENDED! The area is still on lock down!
More information will be provided soon.
— City of Aurora, IL (@CityofAuroraIL) February 15, 2019
“There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D-IL) at Friday’s news conference.
“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,” remarked Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin.
“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,” said the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police in a statement issued before the number of wounded law enforcement members was increased to five.
“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.”
The Henry Pratt manufacturing plant, the scene of the latest mass shooting in the U.S. — which occurred one day after the anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead — is one of the largest manufacturers of water valves in the nation.
The Aurora facility is the headquarters of Henry Pratt and has been in business for over a century.
Investigators have cordoned off parts of the parking lot and are using drones to survey the large crime scene, which includes the Henry Pratt headquarters’ manufacturing plant where water valves are produced.
Aurora locked down all of the city’s schools shortly after the incident and delayed dismissal of students after authorities announced the shooting was no longer active.
Gun violence in the workplace has been on the rise in recent years. Homicide is responsible for roughly 10 percent of deaths in the workplace, with firearms being the cause of approximately 80 percent of them.