Aurora shooters permit was revoked but gun wasnt seized – The Associated Press

Aurora shooter\s permit was revoked but gun wasn\t seized - The Associated Press
Aurora shooting raises questions over gun permit checks
AURORA, Ill. (AP) — An initial background check failed to detect a felony conviction that should have barred the man who killed five co-workers and wounded six other people at a suburban Chicago manufacturing plant from buying the gun.

Months later, a second background check of Gary Martin found his 1995 aggravated assault conviction in Mississippi involving the stabbing of an ex-girlfriend. But it prompted only a letter stating his gun permit had been revoked and ordering him to turn over his firearm to police — raising questions about the states enforcement to ensure those who lose their permits also turn over their weapons.

The identities of his five victims were revealed on Saturday, and included Trevor Wehner, a college student on his first day of an internship with the company; Clayton Parks, a human resources manager; Josh Pinkard, a plant manager; Russell Beyer, a mold operator and Vicente Juarez, a stockroom attendant.

A vigil for the victims , including a university student on his first day as an intern and a longtime plant manager, was held Sunday outside Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Chicago. More than 1,500 people braved snow and freezing drizzle to attend.

Martin was not legally allowed to own a gun, and was illegally in possession of the one he used during Friday's attack. In 2014, he passed a background check and purchased a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun, but later was denied a concealed-carry permit because his background check revealed a felony conviction.

Martin, 45, was killed in a shootout with officers Friday, ending his deadly rampage at the plant. His state gun license permit was revoked in 2014, Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said.

Gary Martin, 45, was killed by police after he shot five people dead at the Henry Pratt Company on Friday in Aurora and injured 11, including five police officers. Officers believe that at least several of Martin's victims were those present during his termination meeting, according to a statement obtained by CNN.

Police say 5 killed in suburban Chicago shooting

But he never gave up the .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun he used in the attack. Investigators are still trying to determine what exactly law enforcement agencies did after that letter was sent, Ziman said.

in 1995, Martin was convicted of aggravated assault in Mississippi. His Firearm Owner Identification Card was then revoked, and he was allegedly sent a letter ordering him to give up his weapon, though it is unknown whether he ever received it or if he failed to surrender the weapon.

Man accused in Aurora mass shooting had been convicted for beating…

Illinois lawmakers who support more gun control measures said Martin was able to keep the gun because of a flaw in the 1968 law that requires residents to get a Firearm Owners Identification card, or FOID card, to purchase firearms or ammunition. They must pass a background check, but the law does not mandate that police ensure weapons have been removed if a red flag is raised later.

In addition to his Mississippi conviction, Martin was also reportedly arrested several times in Aurora for traffic stops and domestic violence incidents. He was also charged in Oswego, Illinois, in 2017 for disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property, police say.

Legislation was introduced in 2016 to require police go to the homes of gun owners who have their FOID cards revoked and search for the weapons, but it failed over concerns it would overtax police departments, said Democratic Rep. Kathleen Willis.

"During this meeting he was terminated and my understanding from the witnesses is that he opened fire right after the termination," she said. "We believe that several people who were involved in that meeting are the ones who are deceased."

Lets use some common sense. If you have someone with a felony, obviously they are not the best law-abiding citizens who are going to follow through when they get the letter and go, oh yeah, heres my gun, no problem, Willis said. We have to have oversight. Thats the biggest flaw in the whole system. Were asking people who already have done something wrong, to do something right.

Last year, Illinois joined other states like California in passing a law that allows family members to petition to have a gun removed from a home and a persons permit revoked if they believe they might use it to harm themselves or others.

Martin bought the .40-caliber Smith & Wesson used in the shooting from a local dealer in 2014, five days after applying to do so. He then applied for a concealed carry permit, and a more thorough background check conducted by the Illinois State Police found he had an aggravated assault conviction in Mississippi in the 1990s.

Lawmakers are also working to add teeth to restrictions on the transfers of gun ownership from a person whose permit has been revoked, Willis said. The change follows a 2018 shooting at a Tennessee Waffle House involving a man who had to give his guns to his father after his Illinois FOID card was revoked, but his father later gave them back to him.

Its an honor system. Theres no real teeth in it, theres no reasonable expectation that the cops are going to show up at your door,” said Mark Jones, senior policy adviser for the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.

Aurora shooting victims included plant manager, intern

Legislators want people who obtain such weapons to sign an affidavit vowing to not return the weapons to the original owner.

Martin was no stranger to police in Aurora, where he had been arrested six times over the years for what Ziman described as traffic and domestic battery-related issues and for violating an order of protection.

Typically, a gun owner would be notified in a letter from state police that they need to surrender their gun, the Chicago Tribune reports, but its unclear if Martin ever received a mailing.

After an initial background check failed to detect his felony conviction, Martin was issued his FOID card and bought the Smith & Wesson handgun on March 11, 2014. Five days after that, he applied for a concealed carry permit. That background check, which used digital fingerprinting, did flag his Mississippi felony conviction and led the Illinois State Police to revoke his permit.

Although Illinois has some of the nations strictest gun laws, a gun control advocate said the revelation points to shortcomings in enforcement.

Records stemming from his 1995 conviction in Mississippi described an extremely violent man who abused a former girlfriend, at one point hitting her with a baseball bat and stabbing her with a knife, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

Police: Aurora gunman likely knew he was being fired

After serving less than three years, he moved to Illinois and landed a job at Henry Pratt. The conviction was not detected in a company background check.

Aurora, Illinois, Police Chief Kristen Ziman identified the gunman as 45-year-old Gary Martin and said he was believed to be an employee at the Henry Pratt Co. — which makes valves for industrial purposes — in the city about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Chicago. She told a news conference that officers arrived within four minutes of receiving reports of the shooting and were fired upon as soon as they entered the 29,000-square-foot manufacturing warehouse.

Authorities said Saturday that Martin pulled out the gun and began shooting right after hearing he was being fired from his job of 15 years at the industrial valve manufacturer for various workplace violations. The company has not given further details on what they were.

Presence Mercy Medical Center was treating two patients and a third had been transferred by helicopter to another hospital, spokesman Matt Wakely said. Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital and Advocate Lutheran General Hospital each had one patient from the shooting, spokeswoman Kate Eller said. Rush Copley Medical Center received three patients from the shooting and all are being treated for non-life threatening injuries, spokeswoman Courtney Satlak said.

Aurora Shooting Victims Ranged from Intern to Plant Manager

Martin killed three people in the room with him and two others just outside, Ziman said. Among the dead was a college student starting a human resources internship at the plant that day. Martin also wounded a sixth worker, who is expected to survive.

After wounding five officers, Martin hid in the back of the building, where officers found him about an hour later and killed him during an exchange of gunfire, police said. All of the wounded officers are expected to live.

Illinois workplace shooters permit was revoked, but gun wasnt seized

Police identified the slain workers as human resources manager Clayton Parks of Elgin; plant manager Josh Pinkard of Oswego; mold operator Russell Beyer of Yorkville; stock room attendant and fork lift operator Vicente Juarez of Oswego; and Trevor Wehner, the new intern and a Northern Illinois University student who lived in DeKalb and grew up in Sheridan.

At Acorn Woods Condominiums where Martin lived, a mix of brick apartments and condos nestled on a quiet street just a mile and a half from the shooting, neighbors gathered on sidewalks near Martins unit talking and wondering among themselves if they knew or had come in contact with him.

Wehner, 21, was on the deans list at NIUs business college and was on track to graduate in May with a degree in human resource management.

Police cars with screaming sirens revved past her as she drove to her mothers house, where the Henry Pratt building is visible from the porch stoop. it was only when they flipped on the television news that they realized Martin had killed people just a few hundred feet away.

The Rev. Dan Haas told those who gathered outside Henry Pratt for Sundays vigil that the killings left the victims families brokenhearted and in mourning.

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All of these were relatively young people — many of them were very young people. We will never know their gifts and talents. Their lives were snuffed out way too short, he said.

Ill. shooting raises questions over gun permit checks

Babwin reported from Chicago. Watson reported from San Diego. Associated Press writers Caryn Rousseau, Carrie Antlfinger and Amanda Seitz contributed.

I literally cant talk out loud about this lovely man without breaking down in sobs, Terra wrote. Im crying now as I write this. I want to shout from the rooftops about how amazing Josh was! He was brilliant! The smartest person Ive ever met! My best friend!

AURORA, Ill. (AP) — An initial background check five years ago failed to flag an out-of-state felony conviction that would have prevented a man from buying the gun he used to kill five co-workers and wound six other people, including five responding police officers, at a suburban Chicago manufacturing plant, authorities say.

Gary Martin, who was killed in a shootout with officers Friday, ending his deadly rampage at the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, was issued a firearm owner's identification card in January 2014 after a background check failed to show a 1995 aggravated assault conviction in Mississippi, Aurora police Chief Kristen Ziman said Saturday.

The widow of an Alabama native killed in an Illinois workplace shooting on Friday has posted an account of learning about her husbands death, including a text message from him after he was wounded.

Authorities search an apartment complex Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., where the gunman who fatally shot several people at a manufacturing complex in the city is believed to have lived. (Patrick Kunzer/Daily Herald via AP)

He bought the Smith & Wesson handgun he used in Friday's attack two months later, on March 11, 2014, she said. Five days after that, he applied for a concealed carry permit, which included a more rigorous background check that used digital fingerprinting and that did flag his Mississippi felony conviction, which led the Illinois State Police to revoke his permit.

Gary Martin, 45, killed five Henry Pratt Company employees with a handgun and then shot five police officers as they swarmed the building. After a 90-minute standoff, police killed the shooter.

Martin was able to keep his gun despite losing his permit, raising questions about what, if anything, the state did to get him to relinquish it.

You guys. I cant even begin to start saying thank you for the love that has been poured out on us. Friday afternoon,…

Authorities said Saturday that Martin pulled out the gun and began shooting right after hearing he was being fired from his job of 15 years at the industrial valve manufacturer.

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)

Martin killed the other three people in the room with him and two others just outside, Ziman said. Among those killed was a college student starting a human resources internship at the plant that day. Martin also wounded a sixth worker — who is expected to survive — before police began arriving, drawing his attention toward them.

Police chief identifies gunman in fatal shootings in Aurora, Illinois, industrial park as 45-year-old Gary Martin

After wounding five officers and with law enforcement from throughout the region pouring in to help, Martin ran off and hid in the back of the building, where officers found him about an hour later and killed him during an exchange of gunfire, police said. All of the wounded officers are expected to live.

Martin, 45, was no stranger to police in Aurora, where he had been arrested six times over the years for what Ziman described as "traffic and domestic battery-related issues" and for violating an order of protection.

Employees are escorted from the scene of a shooting at a manufacturing company, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Aurora, Ill, that police said left several people dead and several police officers wounded. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

Scott Hall, president and CEO of Mueller Water Products Inc., which owns Henry Pratt, said at a news conference Saturday that Martin was being fired "for a culmination of various workplace rules violations," though he didn't elaborate.

He said a company background check of Martin when he joined Henry Pratt 15 years ago did not turn up the 1995 felony conviction in Mississippi.

A vigil was planned for Sunday in Aurora, which is about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Chicago and is Illinois' second-largest city, with about 200,000 people.

Police identified the slain workers as human resources manager Clayton Parks of Elgin; plant manager Josh Pinkard of Oswego; mold operator Russell Beyer of Yorkville; stock room attendant and fork lift operator Vicente Juarez of Oswego; and Trevor Wehner, the new intern and a Northern Illinois University student who lived in DeKalb and grew up in Sheridan.

It was Wehner's first day on the job, his uncle Jay Wehner told The Associated Press. Trevor Wehner, 21, was on the dean's list at NIU's business college and was on track to graduate in May with a degree in human resource management.

Police: Aurora attacker used gun he shouldnt have owned

"He always, always was happy. I have no bad words for him. He was a wonderful person. You can't say anything but nice things about him," Jay Wehner said of his nephew.


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