An Intern at His First Day on the Job Was Among 5 Killed in Illinois Mass Shooting
The shooting took place at the Henry Pratt Company building in Aurora, Illinois on Friday
The identities of the five victims of a workplace shooting in Aurora, Illinois on Friday were revealed by the Aurora Police Department on Saturday.
Aurora police got the call for an active shooter at 1:24 p.m. on Friday, Aurora police chief Kristen Ziman told reporters at a press conference on Friday. The shooting took place at the Henry Pratt Company in a 29,000-square-foot building.
The suspect was fatally shot by police, Ziman said on Friday. He was identified as Gary Martin, 45. In a Saturday press conference, Ziman said that Martin was being let go by the company in a meeting before he opened fire.
The Aurora police also reported Saturday that all five of the officers who were still being treated for injuries sustained on Friday “are recovering and are under the care of physicians in the Chicago metro area.”
Those killed include an intern who was on his very first day with the company, a forklift operator and a father. A GoFundMe page has been set up to support their loved ones.
These are the deceased victims, whose ages were not immediately available:
Wehner, who was from Dekalb, Illinois, was a student at Northern Illinois University, police said. Friday was his first day at an internship at the Henry Pratt Company, Northern Illinois University president Dr. Lisa C. Freeman said in a statement. Wehner was expected to graduate in May with a degree in human resource management. In a Facebook post, a mother of lifelong friends of Wehner wrote, “Each and every one of us have had a ‘First Day’ on the job, his should have never ended this way… He was going to be 22 on April 22nd, on what would have been his golden birthday!”
Beyer was a mold operator at the company and was from Yorkville, Illinois, authorities said. According to a GoFundMe set up in his memory, Beyer was the father to two children. “Russ will be remembered as a hard working and happy man known to always have a smile on his face,” the GoFundMe reads.
Juarez, from Oswego, Illinois, was a stockroom attendant and forklift operator at Henry Pratt, police said. A GoFundMe has been set up in his honor. Juarez was “a husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, uncle, cousin” and the “head of his household,” according to the GoFundMe.
Pinkard also hailed from Oswego, Illinois. He was a plant manager at the company, police said. In a Facebook post shared by The Cullman Tribune, a reporter wrote, “His uncle told me he was a loving husband and father who deeply impacted the community.”
Parks, who was from Elgin, Illinois, was a human resources manager at the company, police said. In a Facebook post, Parks’ wife, with whom he shares a son, wrote, “Every time I’ve closed my eyes over the last twelve hours, I’ve opened them hoping to wake from a terrible dream, but that’s not the case. I’m living my worst nightmare. My husband, my love, my best friend, and the incredible father of our sweet son was taken from us yesterday in the shooting in Aurora, and I am devastated.”
Parks was an alumnus of Northern Illinois University. He graduated in 2014 from the College of Business, according to a statement from the university president, Dr. Freeman.
“Loss like this is devastating and senseless,” the statement read. “I ask our university community to please keep the Wehner and Parks families, friends and communities in your hearts and offer them caring thoughts.”