Suspect in Aurora Henry Pratt factory shooting dead: Police

by Samuel Abasi Posted on February 15th, 2019

Chicago, Illinois: The suspect in a mass shooting in Aurora that wounded four police officers and as many as a dozen civilians in an industrial area near Prairie and Highland avenues is dead, law enforcement sources said.

Sources said they are uncertain if the man, said to be an Aurora resident, was killed by police or from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. They said a ruling may depend on an autopsy and a review of officers’ body cameras.

Kane County Coroner Rob Russell confirmed at least one person is dead, but would not say if the person is the suspect. Early reports indicated a civilian also may have been killed.

Multiple victims are being airlifted to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.

Patients also are being taken to Amita Health Mercy Medical Center in Aurora. Two people are being treated injuries that are not life-threatening at Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora.

Police are conducting a building-to-building search of the area in case there are more people injured.

SWAT teams from throughout the suburbs were called to the scene as was the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI.

John Probst said he worked near the gunman, who had started work at 7 a.m. Friday.

“One of the guys, he came running down and was bleeding pretty bad. We heard more shots and we just left the building,” Probst told ABC 7 Chicago.

Nearby Holy Angels School and all 18 schools in West Aurora Unit District 129 were on lockdown, which ended early Friday evening.

Bob Gonzalez, school board president in West Aurora Unit District 129, also works as a State Farm agent with an office on Prairie Street just east of Highland Avenue.

As soon as he heard sirens and realized the emergency in the area was a shooting, he got in touch with Superintendent Jeff Craig to start putting student safety measures into place.

At 1:56 p.m., Gonzalez said, Craig put all of the district’s 18 schools on soft lockdown. The lockdown lasted until the district began dismissing students about 4 p.m., after police said the situation was “contained” by about 3:45. Students were to be dismissed in 40-minute intervals, starting with the elementary schools and Hope D. Wall School, then West Aurora High School, the district’s middle schools and the West Aurora Learning Center.

While police were searching for the suspect, Gonzalez called multiple clients warning them not to come in to his office at 301 Prairie St. and locked down the facility to preserve the safety of his 4-year-old twin grandchildren.

Nancy Caal, an employee of Erwin’s Truck Repair, 735 Prairie St., said she and three others were locked down inside the shop during the manhunt for the shooter.

“We have not heard from the police, but we can hear all the sirens so I went and shut the front gate and locked all of the doors,” Caal said at the time. “I’ve got three people here with me and there’s four people in the building behind me, too. We’re not seeing much because we prefer to be all the way inside the building and not in the windows. We’re staying calm.”

“They just recommended to lock our doors,” said Polo Lozano, the owner of Capital Printing and Dye Company. His entrance is about 75 yards from the shooting scene.

CNN is reporting that President Donald Trump has been briefed on the shooting and is monitoring the situation.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin tweeted, “My heart breaks for Aurora. I’m tracking updates on the situation with my staff. Thank you to the members of law enforcement who are responding to the emergency.”

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, also on Twitter, said “I am monitoring the shooting in Aurora and encourage all residents to follow the directives of their local law enforcement.”

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Samuel Abasi

Samuel Abasi

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