Victims of Henry Pratt mass shooting honored in Aurora vigil: 'all gone too soon'

There was a solemn anniversary in the city of Aurora on Wednesday, marking four years since the Henry Pratt workplace shooting that killed five people.

"I've experienced a lot of long days in my 28 years as an Aurora Police officer, but that day was the longest, without question," said Keith Cross, Chief of the Aurora Police Department.

The day was February 15, 2019, when a disgruntled employee fatally shot five coworkers at the now-shuttered Henry Pratt Company: Russell Beyer, Clayton Parks, Vicente Juarez, Trevor Wehner and Josh Pinkard.

"Russell, Clayton, Trevor, Vicente and Josh – all gone too soon," said Aurora Mayor Richard Irving at Wednesday's event.


"It felt like we also lost much of our innocence in Aurora," said Anita Lewis, a former Henry Pratt Employee. "The world just felt like a darker place after that day. No longer could we look to our workplace or our neighborhoods as that safe spot."

Victims' family members placed roses and lit candles at crosses in remembrance of their lost loved ones. Ted Beyer, who lost his son Russell that day, said he still carries a lot of resentment over a shooting he says could've and should've been prevented.

"He died for no valid reason at all," said Beyer. "They put all five of them in harm's way and I knew the shooter."

"This day doesn't get easier as time passes," said Rep. Lauren Underwood. "Time does not bring these loved ones back. As everyone here knows, gun violence changes a community forever. With the news of yet another mass shooting this week, this time at MSU, I'm grieving for all communities who've had to endure a mass shooting."

At Wednesday's commemoration, Mayor Irvin also announced that a special bench has been crafted in the five victims' memory, which is right now in a museum but will be moved to a public space some time later this year.