Sacked man in US kills five co-workers, wounds police officers

Gun man is killed in incident at Chicago manufacturing facility; seven people injured

Aurora police chief Kristen Ziman said the information they have points to gunman Gary Martin being terminated from his job on the same day he killed five people. Video: Reuters

 

A employee of 15 years who had just been fired from a suburban Chicago manufacturing company killed five co-workers and wounded five police officers, authorities said.

Police chief Kristen Ziman said that Gary Martin shot at officers as soon as they entered the Henry Pratt company building in Aurora - 64km west of Chicago.

Ms Ziman said that Martin (45) was also killed.

She told a news conference that in addition to the five employees killed, a sixth worker was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life threatening.

The scene of a gun attack in Aurora, Illinois, US. Photograph: Bev Horne/Daily Herald, via AP
The scene of a gun attack in Aurora, Illinois, US. Photograph: Bev Horne/Daily Herald, via AP

A sixth police officer suffered a knee injury while officers were searching the building.

Ms Ziman said officers arrived within four minutes of receiving reports of the shooting and were fired upon as soon as they entered the 8,839sqm manufacturing warehouse.

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

“May God bless the brave law enforcement officers who continue to run toward danger,” Illinois governor JB Pritzker said at a news conference.

Aurora police chief Kristen Ziman speaks at a news conference Friday about the shootings at a manufacturing company in the city. Photograph: Patrick Kunzer/Daily Herald/AP
Aurora police chief Kristen Ziman speaks at a news conference Friday about the shootings at a manufacturing company in the city. Photograph: Patrick Kunzer/Daily Herald/AP

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 on Friday afternoon.

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

Mr Probst said he was not hurt but that another colleague was “bleeding pretty bad”.

“It’s a shame that mass shootings such as this have become commonplace in our country. It’s a shame that a cold and heartless offender would be so selfish as to think he has the right to take an innocent life,” Aurora mayor Richard Irvin said.

The White House said president Donald Trump was briefed on the shooting and monitoring the situation as he prepared to depart for a weekend trip to his home in Palm Beach, Florida.

Mr Trump tweeted his thanks to law enforcement officers in Aurora and offered his condolences to the victims and their families. “America is with you,” he said.–PA