Gunman who killed 5 coworkers vowed deadly spree if he was fired
The gunman who opened fire at a suburban Chicago manufacturing plant in February, killing five colleagues before he was killed by police, told a co-worker the morning of the shooting that if he was fired he was going to kill employees and police, 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, but that he didn’t report Martin’s comments to his superiors because he routinely made “off the wall” statements and that he didn’t believe Martin would do anything violent, according to the nine-page Kane County State’s Attorney’s office report.
According to the report that concluded officers were justified in using deadly force in their response, Martin spoke to a few employees after he arrived for work at 6:45 a.m. Feb. 15, and told them he was worried he might be fired for a safety violation, reported CBS Chicago.
“If I get fired, I’m going to kill every mother f***** in here,” he allegedly told the employee. “I am going to blow police up.”
Prosecutors say the employee had never seen him with the weapon inside the warehouse, and wasn’t aware Martin was carrying the gun at work that morning, reports CBS Chicago. Prosecutors said it’s believed Martin brought the gun and ammunition inside the building when he arrived at work, because there is no surveillance video of him returning to his car before the shooting.
While it has widely been reported that Martin had been fired, the report marks the first time officials have explained that Martin’s firing came during a disciplinary meeting that was called because of his refusal to wear safety glasses. It also details the events immediately before the shooting, including the fact that Martin could be seen “walking over to his workstation to retrieve something,” putting on a hoodie and going into the bathroom just before the meeting.
The report that details the shooting shows that after Martin was told by Clayton Parks, the company’s human resources manager, that he had been fired, Martin used profanity and then began firing. Parks was among those killed.
Wounded in the attack was union steward Timothy Williams. Speaking last month, Williams’ lawyer David Rapoport said Williams was shot in the arm during the meeting, but was able to run outside of the room and alert others to the danger.
“He was just screaming with his bloody arm, ‘Get out, Gary is shooting, Get out, Gary is shooting,'” Rapoport said.
Williams hadn’t yet made it out of the building when Martin approached Williams, according to Rapoport, saying, “You’re not dead yet?” before shooting him twice more, in the upper back near each of his shoulders. Williams hasseeking $2 million in damages for issuing Martin a gun license despite a previous felony conviction, and failing to make sure he surrendered his gun when that license was revoked.
The report also gives an account of the police response, beginning with officers being dispatched to the scene at 1:24 p.m., the five-minute period in which five officers were shot inside and outside the building, and the search for Martin that ended with him being fatally shot by law enforcement.
The report includes an autopsy that revealed Martin was shot six times, including four times in the chest and once in the middle of his forehead. Pathologists say a gunshot wound to his right jaw was likely self-inflicted.