Worker Said He'd Kill Everyone if Plant Fired Him: Officials

Five colleagues died and five officers were wounded
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 29, 2019 4:06 PM CDT
Illinois Gunman Threatened to Kill if He Was Fired: Report
A man prays at a makeshift memorial placed for victims near the warehouse of Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, Ill., in February.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

The gunman who killed five colleagues at a suburban Chicago manufacturing plant and wounded five police officers before he was killed in a shootout had told a co-worker that February morning that he would kill everyone there and "blow police up" if he was fired, prosecutors said in a report released Monday. The Henry Pratt Co. employee told authorities in Aurora that he knew Gary Martin carried a firearm in his vehicle, the AP reports, but that he didn't report Martin's comments because Martin routinely made "off the wall" statements and the co-worker didn't believe Martin would do anything violent, according to the Kane County State's Attorney's office report. The employee is not named. While it has been reported that Martin had been fired, the report marks the first time officials have explained that Martin's firing came during a Feb. 15 disciplinary meeting called because of his refusal to wear safety glasses.

Martin apparently brought the gun into the plant when he arrived at 6:45am, the report says. Just before the shooting, Martin walked "over to his workstation to retrieve something," put on a hoodie and went into the bathroom, it says. Martin then went to the meeting during which he was told by Clayton Parks, the human resources manager, that he'd been fired. Martin responded with profanities, and plant manager Josh Pinkard said, "OK, it's over." Martin said, "Yeah, it is over," and opened fire. Parks and Pinkard were among those killed. Surveillance video indicates Martin was waiting for police after he killed his colleagues and "positioning himself near a doorway." In a five-minute period, five officers were shot in the parking lot and in the building. The report concludes that the officers were justified in using deadly force. (One victim was an intern on his first day on the job.)

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