Illinois factory gunman killed victims after being fired: police

By Robert Chiarito AURORA, Ill. (Reuters) - The gunman who killed five fellow workers at an Illinois factory on Friday had just been terminated, and the plant manager and a human resources official were among his victims, authorities said on Saturday.

Reuters February 17, 2019 01:05:45 IST
Illinois factory gunman killed victims after being fired: police

Illinois factory gunman killed victims after being fired police

By Robert Chiarito

AURORA, Ill. (Reuters) - The gunman who killed five fellow workers at an Illinois factory on Friday had just been terminated, and the plant manager and a human resources official were among his victims, authorities said on Saturday.

Gary Martin, 45, armed himself with a handgun before reporting for a meeting where he was told he was fired, Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman told a news conference.

Most of the workers killed at the Henry Pratt Company plant were in the room where Martin was terminated, Ziman said. Five police officers were wounded by gunfire before Martin was killed in a shootout with police.

Martin had bought the weapon, a Smith & Wesson handgun with a laser sight, in 2014 before authorities realized he had a prior felony conviction from 1994, Ziman said.

"The fact remains that some disgruntled person walked in and had access to a firearm that he shouldn't have had access to," Ziman said at the news conference.

Ziman said investigators were seeking to determine why Martin was not forced to relinquish his gun before the shooting.

The bloodshed marked the latest spasm of gun violence in a nation where mass shootings have become almost commonplace, and 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 Robert Chiarito; Additional reporting and writing by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by James Dalgleish and Tom Brown)

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