ST. CHARLES, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) - An investigation has ruled that the police officers who fired at the gunman during the February mass shooting at the Henry Pratt Company were justified in their use of force.
In a report issued to the Aurora and Naperville police departments on Friday, Kane County State’s Attorney Joseph H. McMahon wrote that responding officers did not violate any laws when they returned fire at Gary Martin during the Feb. 15 active shooter incident.
“Based upon a review of the investigation, all officers at the scene of this incident had the reasonable belief that the deadly force they employed was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to themselves and other individuals as they attempted to locate and arrest the offender,” McMahon wrote.
On Feb. 14, the day before the shooting, Martin told a coworker, “If I get fired, I am going to kill every mother f—– in here. I am going to blow police up,” according to the report.
The employee told investigators he didn’t report the comment because Martin “was always making ‘off the wall’ statements,” according to the report. The same employee knew Martin kept a gun in his car, but had never seen him bring it into the building.
Investigators think Martin brought the gun and ammunition into the building with him when he got to work, because video from the facility did not show him returning to his car before the shooting, according to McMahon.
Martin opened fire inside the factory, killing five co-workers and injuring another after he was told that he was being fired, authorities said. He also shot and injured five Aurora police officers who were responding to the shooting.
He was eventually fatally shot by Aurora and Naperville police officers, according to McMahon’s report. An autopsy determined he died of six gunshot wounds, one of which appeared to be self-inflicted.
“We thank the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Kane County Officer-Involved Shooting Task Force for their careful and thorough investigation, and their continued service to our community,” Aurora Police Sgt. Bill Rowely wrote in response to the report.