Police have confirmed that five people have died following a shooting at a manufacturing warehouse owned by the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, Illinois. Aurora Chief of Police Kristen Ziman identified the deceased suspect as 45-year-old Gary Martin and said that he worked for the company. They said they are still trying to determine Martin's motive for opening fire on his coworkers.
Officials have not identified the victims because their families have not been notified.
The first group of officers responded to the shooting within minutes and immediately came under fire. Five officers were shot and are recovering in local area hospitals. Ziman praised the officers and said that they saved lives.
"Thank you for your selfless act," Ziman said. "Thank you for running towards gunfire and putting your lives in danger to protect those inside the business."
John Probst, an employee at Henry Pratt, told ABC7 that he saw the shooter and said he was armed with a pistol equipped with a laser sight. He managed to escape the building through a backdoor and fled to the house of a nearby resident.
"One of the guys was up in the office, he said this person was shootin', and, he comes running down, and he was bleeding pretty bad, and the next thing you know he was walking back and forth, I heard more shots, and we just left the building," Probst said.
Authorities are preparing to search Martin's apartment using a remote controlled robot. He had a prior conviction for aggravated assault in 1995.
There are reports that Martin pulled out the gun after he was told that he was being fired.