Posted on February 19, 2019

Aurora Mass Shooting: Gunman Opened Fire After Being Told He Was Losing Job, Police Say

Aurora Beacon-News, February 17, 2019

Six people, including a gunman, died in a shooting at a manufacturing warehouse in Aurora on Feb. 15, 2019, and five officers were struck by gunfire.

An employee opened fire at an Aurora manufacturing plant Friday shortly after a meeting in which he was terminated from his job, authorities said.

Police said the suspected gunman, Gary Martin, 45, was in illegal possession of the gun used in the attack that killed five other employees and wounded five police officers. Martin was killed in a shootout with police.


Aurora police Chief Kristen Ziman said the officers wounded while responding to the scene of the shooting were recovering and another victim was being treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.

Martin had six prior arrests by Aurora police, including for domestic violence-related issues, and also had a felony conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi in 1995, authorities said.


Gary Martin

Martin had six prior arrests in Aurora, most involving traffic stops and domestic violence. He also had a felony conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi in 1995, authorities said.

Martin was issued an Illinois firearm owner’s identification card in January 2014. Two months later, he purchased a Smith & Wesson .40-caliber handgun from an Aurora dealer.

He applied for a concealed carry permit shortly after purchasing the gun, according to police. During the fingerprinting and background process, Martin’s conviction in Mississippi was discovered and his concealed carry application was denied. He had also had his firearm license revoked by the Illinois State Police, Ziman said.

Given his FOID card had been revoked, police are now investigating how Martin still had a gun in his possession. That illegal gun was the one used in Friday’s shooting.


It was a very short gunfight and then it was over, Lt. Rick Robertson said. Police are currently unable to determine if the gunshot wound was self-inflicted. There was no verbal conversation between the officers and Martin at that time. There were a few employees who were sheltered in place.


At the news conference, Ziman said according to a witness at the scene, Martin reported to work and during a meeting he was terminated. He opened fire right after the termination. Several people involved at that meeting are the ones deceased, police said.


[Editor’s Note: The original story includes a very detailed breakdown of how events unfolded.]