AURORA, Ill. — A gunman stormed through a manufacturing warehouse in suburban Chicago on Friday afternoon, killing five people inside and injuring others, including five police officers who were responding to 911 calls.
Scores of law enforcement authorities swarmed Aurora, Illinois, west of Chicago, sections of the city were cordoned off, and schools were forced to keep students inside for more than an hour.
After a tense period of waiting, as officers from departments all over the region gathered near the industrial complex and crouched in small clusters, the Aurora Police Department reported that the gunman had died after exchanging fire with police.
Authorities identified the gunman as Gary Martin, 45, and his relatives said that he was a former worker in the warehouse at the Henry Pratt Co., where valves and control devices used in water and power systems are designed.
Martin had worked there for about 20 years, his sister, Tameka Martin, said, but had lost his job two weeks ago. Tameka Martin said she had had dinner with her brother a few days ago, and he had seemed “very depressed.” Martin and other family members, several of whom wept and embraced, met with police officers Friday evening.
By late Friday, officials had not provided the names of the people who were killed, and the number of people injured was uncertain. Four hospitals reported treating at least seven people who were hurt. Among the wounded were five police officers who were shot and a sixth officer who was injured responding to the gunfire. The wounded officers were in stable condition.
The first calls of a shooting at the warehouse began pouring in at 1:24 p.m., Kristen Ziman, Aurora’s police chief, said. The first officers arrived four minutes later, rushing in and immediately being shot at, she said. Two of the first four officers to arrive were shot.
Ziman said officers from other departments converged on the site, and teams were assembled to search for the gunman inside the 29,000-square-foot building. When they eventually found him, she said, they shot and killed him.
Officials of the Henry Pratt Co. did not respond to inquiries. The company, founded in 1901, has its headquarters in Aurora and has manufacturing facilities in Washington state and Indiana.
“It’s a shame that mass shootings such as this have become commonplace in our country,” said Mayor Richard Irvin, of Aurora. “It’s a shame that a cold and heartless offender would be so selfish as to think he has a right to take an innocent life.”