16 Feb 2019

Aurora shooting: Five dead in Illinois workplace attack

1:57 pm on 16 February 2019

Five people have been killed and several others injured after a gunman opened fire at an industrial park in Illinois, USA, police say.

A screenshot of the scene of the shooting in Illinois.

A screenshot of the scene of the shooting in Illinois. Photo: Screenshot / BBC

The gunman was also killed, a police spokesman said. He added that the five officers had been hit by gunfire.

The attack today took place in Aurora, a suburb about 65km west of Chicago.

It comes a day after the first anniversary of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead.

Police reported an "active shooter" in Aurora at about 2pm local time and about an hour later they said the situation was under control.

The shooting is reported to have happened at Henry Pratt Company, a manufacturing firm that makes valves for large water pipes.

Police named the gunman as Gary Martin, 45, who they said was an employee at the industrial park.

Bill Donnell, an elected official in Aurora, told CNN that a number of civilians had been wounded in the shooting.

Chris Southwood of the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police described the Aurora officers who attended and were shot as "courageous".

"[These] officers and their colleagues did not hesitate to literally put their lives on the line today to stop further bloodshed," Mr Southwood said in a statement.

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A Twitter post from the City of Aurora. Photo: Twitter

An employee at nearby Capitol Printing told ABC7 they had hid in a closet when the shooting began.

Witness John Probst, who works at the plant, told ABC7 that he saw the attacker, whom he recognised as a colleague.

He said the man was carrying a handgun equipped with a laser sight, but this has yet to be confirmed by officials.

"One of the guys was up in the office [and] he said this person was shooting, and, he come running down and he was bleeding pretty bad, and the next thing you know he was walking back and forth, I heard more shots, and we just left the building," Mr Probst said.

Police in Aurora, Colorado - where a man opened fire in a crowded movie theatre in 2012 - quickly tweeted that the incident was not happening in Colorado.

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth said: "This is a scary, sad day for all Illinoisans and Americans."

President Donald Trump has been briefed on the incident, according to White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.


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