Six dead in US warehouse shooting

A police vehicle responding to reports of the shooting. Photo: Reuters
A police vehicle responding to reports of the shooting. Photo: Reuters
When Gary Martin came to work at theHenry Pratt valve manufacturing plant in Aurora, Illinois on Friday, he was told he was being terminated from his job.Shortly thereafter, Martin pulled out his Smith & Wesson revolver and opened fire.

Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said Martin shot six fellow employees, five of them fatally, at the sprawling warehouse where he had worked for 15 years, and wounded five police officers before he was slain by police 90 minutes later.

She said police had yet to determine whether the shootingwas an impulsive act or premeditated, and that investigators hadnot immediately ascertained why he had been fired.

She said police were executed a search warrant at hisresidence to further their investigation of what she called a"workplace shooting."

Jeremy Sherman, a neighbor of Martin's at Acorn WoodsCondominium Complex in Aurora, about 40 miles west of Chicago,told Newsweek's Daily Beast website that Martin could often befound outside playing with his remote-control toy cars anddrones.

Sherman described his neighbor as a loner with whom hesometimes chatted without ever learning anything about Martin'swork life or his past. Sherman said he never saw Martin withweapons - or with guests.

"He kept to himself a lot, and he was always on his porch,"he told the Daily Beast. "Even when he wasn't doing nothing,he'd be out there sitting. I'd be out there, sometimes one, two[o'clock] in the morning and he'd be there just sitting all inthe dark, [in the] shadows."

 

AGGRAVATED ASSAULT

Martin's mother told the Chicago Sun-Times that her son hadbeen "way too stressed out" recently.

Public records showed Martin had a criminal past, a 1995conviction for aggravated assault in Marshall County,Mississippi.

Aurora Police Chief Ziman said authorities did not know ifhe had legally purchased the gun he used. Convicted felons arebarred from buying firearms.

A fellow employee and eyewitness John Probst told CNN thatMartin fired his pistol with a green laser sight at fellowworkers. "What I saw was the guy running down the aisle with apistol with a laser on it," he said.

The shooting came a day after the one-year anniversary of the massacre of 17 people by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

- Reporting by Bill Tarrant in Los Angeles; Editing by Steve Gorman

 

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