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 But it prompted only a letter stating his gun permit had been revoked and ordering him to turn over his firearm to police — raising questions about the states enforcement to ensure those who lose their permits also turn over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.
Aurora shooter brought gun to termination meeting, opened fire as soon as he was fired, police say
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, 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 His state gun license permit was revoked in 2014, Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said.
Officials: Aurora gunman opened fire on his coworkers as soon as he lost his job
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.
Aurora Shooters Permit Was Revoked But Gun Wasnt Seized
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.
I received a text at 1:24 from my precious husband that said I love you, Ive been shot at work, wrote Terra Pinkard, wife of Josh Pinkard. It took me several times reading it for it to hit me that it was for real.
Police chief identifies gunman in fatal shootings in Aurora, Illinois, industrial park as 45-year-old Gary Martin
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.
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.
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.
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.
Josh Pinkard was one of five people killed by a recently fired co-worker at a warehouse in Aurora, Illinois.
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.
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.
Aurora shooters gun permit was revoked but weapon wasnt seized
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Babwin reported from Chicago. Watson reported from San Diego. Associated Press writers Caryn Rousseau, Carrie Antlfinger and Amanda Seitz contributed.
The Aurora shooter brought a gun to his termination meeting and opened fire as soon as he was fired, according to police.
Illinois shooting: Man who killed five co-workers was domestic abuser banned from legally owning guns
A disgruntled worker who went on a shooting rampage at a manufacturing warehouse in a Chicago suburb brought the weapon to his termination meeting and opened fire as soon as he was fired, police say.
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.
Man accused in Aurora mass shooting had been convicted for beating girlfriend with baseball bat
Martin worked for the plant for 15 years, and his firing was the result of multiple workplace rule violations, according to Scott Hall, the CEO of Mueller Water Products, which owns Henry Pratt Company.
Illinois factory gunman obtained firearm permit despite felony conviction
Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman revealed the new information about Martin's motives at a press conference on Saturday.
"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."
Illinois workplace shooters permit was revoked, but gun wasnt seized
After opening fire during the meeting, Martin then ran down aisles of the manufacturing plant and was shooting people using a pistol with a green laser sight on it.
Suspect sought after man, 18, injured in overnight shooting in Aurora
One employee of the plant said that a blood-soaked victim told him that Martin simply "went ballistic."
Law enforcement personnel gather near the scene of a shooting at an industrial park in Aurora, Ill., on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. (AP)
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.
At least three of the five police officers he injured during the 90-minute shootout were still in the hospital as of Saturday, according to police.
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.
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.
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.
The means by which he was still in possession of a firearm on Friday will be investigated along with the rest of the incident.
"We're looking into whether we followed up on that, and what agencies followed up on that," Chief Ziman said.