Aurora Remembers Henry Pratt Shooting 1 Year Later

Bernie Tafoya
February 11, 2020 - 2:29 pm
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Flags will fly at half-staff on Saturday in Aurora in remembrance of the one-year anniversary of the Pratt Company mass shooting which left five employees dead and six police officers wounded or injured.

On Monday, at Aurora’s Historical Society, officials remembered the victims and the heroes of the massacre.

“February 15, 2019 forever changed Aurora,” said Mayor Richard Irvin. He said the tragic day a year ago “bruised Aurora, but didn’t break Aurora.”

On the afternoon of February 15, the lights were dimmed, darkened and some sadly extinguished in the midst of one of the worst days in our city’s history. Russell Beyer, Vicente Juarez, Clayton Parks, Josh Pinkard, Trevor Wehner - let’s have a moment of silence for the lives tragically taken that day," he said. 



Police Chief Kristen Zeman said her department is still living with last year’s tragedy, because two of the six wounded or injured police officers are still recovering and want to return to work. The chief said those who died remain on her mind.

“One thing that I have learned over this past year is that real human beings were walking the Earth and are no longer with us and the pain that these families are feeling…it doesn’t feel like a year. It still feels like they’re stuck in that moment in time," she said.

Flags will fly at half-staff on Saturday in Aurora in remembrance of the one-year anniversary of the Pratt Company mass shooting which left five employees dead and six police officers wounded or injured.
WBBM Newsradio/Bernie Tafoya


Aurora Fire Chief Gary Krienitz said that “nothing could have prepared” him for what was to take place a year ago and that he has “never been more proud” to be part of the Aurora Fire Department.

Also Saturday, police and fire radios will mention the names of those who were killed as well as observe a moment of silence at 1:24 in the afternoon, the time when the first call came from the Henry Pratt Company a year ago.

No one from Pratt was at today’s news briefing. Chief Zeman says Pratt will be having a private memorial event and has invited Aurora officials.

Mayor Irvin encourages people to visit the Aurora Historical Society on Saturday to see the exhibit about the tragedy and remember and reflect what happened a year ago.

“On that day, we’ll provide an opportunity for you to leave cards and notes for the families of Russel Beyer, Vicente Juarez, Clayton Parks, Josh Pinkard and Trevor Wehner,” he said. 

Flags will fly at half-staff on Saturday in Aurora in remembrance of the one-year anniversary of the Pratt Company mass shooting which left five employees dead and six police officers wounded or injured.
WBBM Newsradio/Bernie Tafoya


The police chief said it’s her mission to try to get more employees of companies to say something when a fellow employee makes a threatening comment, not to just dismiss it as idle chatter.

“If your Spidey senses are tingling about something, then you need to say something. Let us sift through it. I would rather someone call and it turn out to be nothing than the situation that we had," she said. 

The shooter at the Pratt Company made such a threat and “no one called 911.”