Police secure the area following a shooting at the Henry Pratt Company on February 15, 2019 in Aurora, Illinois. Five people were reported dead and 5 police officers wounded from the shooting. Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP
Police secure the area following a shooting at the Henry Pratt Company on February 15, 2019 in Aurora, Illinois. Five people were reported dead and 5 police officers wounded from the shooting. Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP

Washington: A man who was terminated from his job fatally shot five people at a factory in the suburbs of the US metropolis of Chicago before being killed by the police, authorities said. Five officers were also wounded in the exchange of gunfire with the attacker on Friday at Henry Pratt Company manufacturing warehouse in Aurora, Illinois, Police Chief Kristen Ziman said at an evening press conference.

The shooter was identified as Gary Martin, 45, an employee at the company who was reportedly sacked prior to the attack. He was believed to be acting alone, CNN reported.

The first calls to police about the shooting came at 1.24 p.m. from inside the building and officers entered the plant at 1.28 p.m. They were immediately confronted by Martin. The first officer was shot outside the building and the others inside upon entering, the police chief added. The officers searched the 29,000 square foot facility in an attempt to locate and stop the shooter. He was killed later and the chaos at the workplace lasted 90 minutes.

Five employees were found dead inside the building and one was being treated in hospital for non-life threatening gunshot wounds. The deceased employees and the officers, who had non-life threatening injuries, were not named. The police were searching Martin’s residence and an investigation was continuing at the factory. The incident took place a day after the first anniversary of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead.

Aurora is a city of some 200,000 residents located 60 km west of central Chicago. The city’s Mayor called it ‘a shame that mass shootings such as this have become commonplace in our country’. President Donald Trump reacted to news of the shooting with praise for the police response and an expression of sympathy for the victims and their loved ones.

“Great job by law enforcement in Aurora, Illinois,” he wrote on Twitter. “Heartfelt condolences to all of the victims and their families. America is with you!”

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