Sacked US man kills five co-workers, wounds five policemen

A US man fired from his job shot dead five co- workers at a factory on the outskirts of Chicago and wounded five police officers before being gunned down himself , in the country’ s latest mass shooting .

The gunfire took place at 1 : 24 pm (1924 GMT ) at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora , Illinois , a suburb 40 miles (65 kilometers ) west of Chicago , the country’ s third – largest city .

Police named the suspect as Gary Martin , 45, of Aurora .

He was a 15- year employee of the company and “ information that we have indicates that he was being terminated today , ” said Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman .

The shooting came the day after Nancy Pelosi , the powerful speaker of the House of Representatives ,

said gun violence is a “ national emergency ” far more real than the one President Donald Trump ultimately declared Friday to build his wall at the Mexican border .

Police Chief Ziman did not have further details about why Martin was being fired , whether the killing was pre -meditated , or whether the victims were involved in his dismissal .

“ Five employees were located deceased inside the building, ” and preliminary reports indicated they were killed before police arrived , Ziman told reporters .

One other employee was wounded but his life was not in danger , she said .

Responding to multiple calls about a shooting at the company , which supplies water valves and employs about 200 people , officers were immediately confronted by Martin .

He shot and wounded two of them with a Smith & Wesson handgun, the chief said .

As other officers arrived they entered the building , about half the size of a football field , to hunt for the retreating gunman and rescue people .

Three more officers were shot but none of the five appeared to be in a critical condition , Ziman said .

After about 90 minutes , officers inside the “ vast , vast building” located the gunman who opened fire again and was killed by returning fire from police , she said .

Witnesses told local media the shooter was a disgruntled employee. They said they locked themselves in nearby buildings as he began firing .
Aerial TV footage showed dozens of police cars, ambulances and fire trucks at the scene as officers with shields entered the complex .

John Probst , who was in the building when the shooting began but was able to escape, told the local ABC TV affiliate he recognized the gunman as a co – worker .

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

“ We were just scared. ”
Nancy Caal , an employee of a nearby repair workshop , told the reports gather, she and three others had heard numerous emergency sirens , and so “went and shut the front gate and locked all of the doors . ”

In a tweet , President Trump praised the “ great job by law enforcement in Aurora , Illinois ” and sent “ heartfelt condolences to all of the victims and their families. America is with you !”

The shooting came a day after the first anniversary of the Valentine’ s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland , Florida , where a former pupil killed 14 students and three staff , re- igniting a push for gun control .

In the year since, nearly 1 , 200 children still lost their lives to firearms and there have been other mass shootings including the October murder of 11 Jews at a Pittsburgh synagogue .

In January a gunman killed five people at a bank in Sebring, Florida .

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, a Democrat , said Friday’ s tragedy was part of an epidemic of gun violence.

“ Tomorrow, the families of the victims will be less than whole . They join a group that should not exist , and yet continues to grow, ” Pritzker said .

A coalition of gun control advocacy groups also condemned the murderous attack , saying it was the 198 th mass shooting in the last 10 years.

“ This is a horrifying reminder of how hard we have to work to prevent gun violence, ” Holly Blastic , with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America , said in a statement .

Definitions of “ mass shooting ” vary, but a Washington Post database has recorded 162 cases in which four or more people were killed since 1966 .

Many of the deadliest shootings have occurred in the last few years, the database shows .

In a presidential message Thursday to mark the Parkland anniversary, Trump recommitted to “ensuring the safety of all Americans . ”

“ Let us declare together, as Americans , that we will not rest until our schools are secure and our communities are safe, ” Trump said

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