AURORA, Illinois– Last week, a gunman shot multiple people at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, Illinois and killed five others.
The shooter was identified by Police Chief Kristen Ziman as Gary Martin, 45, and authorities believe he was an employee at the company where the shooting occurred. Police said there was no obvious motive.
Holly Pond native Josh Pinkard was one of the people who was shot. Family members confirmed that Pinkard, plant manager, died from his injuries.
His widow, Terra Pinkard, is speaking out on social media after she says she is unable to talk out loud about her loss.
“This unbelievable person was robbed from us,” she said in the Facebook post.
She wrote about how she learned of his passing, describing the fear and the confusion she went through before police finally told her he was killed.
She said it began with a text from him: “I received a text at 1:24 from my precious husband that said I love you, I’ve been shot at work. It took me several times reading it for it to hit me that it was for real,” she wrote.
Pinkard added, “The police told us there were fatalities. He read my husband’s name. I immediately left and went to get my kids. With my pastors help, since family was still on planes to get to us, I told my children their dad did not make it and is in heaven with Jesus. I’ve never had to do something that hard.”
Pinkard said it’s hard to talk about losing her husband because she always knew she could never live without him.
She asked for help in the form of prayer to get herself and her family through this dark time.
“The next few days are going to be filled with decisions to make on how to say my final goodbyes to a man I always said I couldn’t live without. But you guys have poured out your love on me. You have covered me, my children, our families with so much love and prayer. It is the only way we are doing it guys,” she stated.
Others have spoken about the loss too.
Brian Haynes, Pinkard’s friend, told media, “There’s just a hard time still trying to cope with with all this. You never prepare yourself for one of your own family members or somebody that you felt like he was a part of their life go on up.”
Pratt C.E.O. posted this message to the company website:
“Mueller Water Products is shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy that occurred today at our Henry Pratt facility in Aurora, Illinois. Our hearts are with the victims and their loved ones, the first responders, the Aurora community and the entire Mueller family during this extremely difficult time. Our entire focus is on the health and wellbeing of our colleagues, and we are committed to providing any and all support to them and their families. We continue to work closely with law enforcement, with whom we share our deepest gratitude for their support. We will provide updates as we learn more.”
The Mueller Company, under that parent company, has a location in Albertville. WHNT News 19 has covered its success in the past. Now, the city of Albertville is joining the Pinkard family in their loss.
More than 1,500 people braved snow and freezing drizzle to attend a prayer vigil for five co-workers who were fatally shot at a suburban Chicago manufacturing plant.
The Rev. Dan Haas told those who gathered for the vigil Sunday outside the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora that Friday’s “senseless killings” at the business left the victims’ families brokenhearted over lives that “were snuffed out way too short.”
Haas called on God to bring comfort to the families and Aurora. He then read the names and ages of the five shooting victims , prompting sobs and cries.
Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin said the city’s residents feel for the families “with all our hearts” but that condolences are not enough.
The city of Aurora tweeted that about 1,700 people attended Sunday’s vigil.