Chicago warehouse attacker shouldn’t have owned gun he took to firing, killing 5

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Law enforcement officers gather outside the Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing plant Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Aurora, Ill. Police say a gunman killed several people and injured police officers before he was fatally shot. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

CHICAGO, IL (AP) — Authorities say the man who killed five co-workers at a suburban Chicago manufacturing warehouse brought his gun, which he shouldn’t have owned, to a meeting in which he was going to be fired.

Aurora police Chief Kristen Ziman said Saturday that because 45-year-old Gary Martin brought his gun to Friday’s meeting, it’s likely he knew there was a chance he would be fired, though she doesn’t know exactly what he had been told or why he was fired.

Ziman says Martin pulled the gun and began shooting right after he was fired. She says three of the five Henry Pratt Co. co-workers he killed were in the room with him and the other two were just outside. A sixth male worker was shot but survived.

 Police say Martin also shot and wounded five police officers before officers killed him.

Authorities say a human resources manager, a plant manager and an intern were among the five people killed by a fired worker at a manufacturing warehouse in Aurora, Illinois.

Police on Saturday identified the five Henry Pratt Co. employees who were killed Friday as human resources manager Clayton Parks of Elgin; human resources intern and Northern Illinois University student Trevor Wehner of DeKalb; plant manager Josh Pinkard of Oswego; mold operator Russell Beyer of Yorkville; and stock room attendant and forklift operator Vicente Juarez of Oswego. 

Police say the fired worker who killed five people at a warehouse in Aurora, Illinois, was able to buy the gun he used because an initial background check didn’t catch that he had a prior felony conviction in Mississippi.

Aurora police Chief Kristin Ziman said Saturday that Martin was issued a firearm owner’s identification card in January of 2014 after he passed the initial background check.

She says he bought the Smith and Wesson .40-caliber handgun on March 11, 2014, and that his 1995 felony conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi wasn’t flagged until he applied for a concealed carry permit five days later. That application process includes vetting using a more rigorous digital fingerprinting system.

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