Hundreds Gather in Aurora for Prayer Vigil to Honor Shooting Victims


AURORA (WBBM NEWSRADIO) Hundreds gathered Sunday for a vigil in the aftermath of a workplace shooting that left five employees of the Henry Pratt Company two days earlier.

The vigil was organized by the Aurora Prayer Coalition and Aurora city officials, as a way to comfort the families of Russell Beyer, Vicente Juarez, Clayton Parks, Josh Pinkard and Trevor Wehner.

Speakers, however, made it clear there were no easy answers.


Pratt employee Gary Martin, 45, opened fire on co-workers after he learned he was being terminated, police have said. Martin no longer had a valid permit to own a gun in Illinois because of a past criminal offense but still had a firearm, according to authorities. He apparently came prepared for trouble, with several magazines of ammunition, when he entered the plant near downtown Aurora.

Five police officers were wounded as they engaged the gunman, who was killed in the exchange. Four of the five officers have been released from the hospital.

The city of Aurora has sponsored an online fundraising effort to help families affected by the tragedy.