Report: Aurora Gunman Told Co-Worker He'd Shoot Employees

Bernie Tafoya
April 29, 2019 - 10:04 am

WBBM Newsradio/Andy Dahn

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- An emotional “Celebration of Courage” ceremony took place in Aurora on Monday, honoring more than three dozen police officers and department staff for the job they did during the deadly mass shooting at the Henry Pratt Company earlier t his year. 

The ceremony took place on the same day the Kane County State's Attorney's Office released its report on the Feb. 15 shooting. In it, prosecutors say police's deadly use of force against disgruntled worker Gary Martin was justified. The document also says a co-worker brushed off Martin’s earlier threat that he would kill people if he was fired by plant managers.

There was a moment of silence at the beginning of the recognition ceremony at the Paramount Theater to remember the five civilians who died in the workplace shooting.

There also was loud applause for more than 40 Aurora police officers, command staff, 9-1-1 operators and staff for their roles in not letting the shooting any worse. 

Officer Marco Gomez was the first person shot that day in February. He says there was one goal: “To get in there and save lives."

Five officers who, along with Officer Gomez, were wounded or injured received the Blue Star Award. Once they were on stage, Chief Kristen Ziman said, “I am so glad you are all here today." 

It wasn't just officers on the scene who were praised. So were department employees like 9-1-1 operator Stephanie Shaffer.

“As the calls of officers being shot rang out over the air, there was no panic. You continued to remain a beacon of calm in the chaos,” Cmdr. Michael Doerzaph said of Shaffer.

The state’s attorney’s report indicated Martin went to work that morning with the idea he might be fired over a safety issue from the day before. He is said to have told at least one co-worker that if he were let go, "I'm going to kill every M*****F***** in here." He also then said, "I'm going to blow police up." 

The worker who was told that attributed the statement to "off-the-wall" comments and did not report them to anyone.

Chief Ziman said it’s unfortunate the co-worker did not take the remarks seriously.