Aurora, Ill., Police Release 911 Audio From Mass Shooting

In one of the calls, a warehouse supervisor tells the dispatcher an employee was being fired when the shooting began and said the shooter was still inside the warehouse.

by Megan Jones, The Beacon-News, Aurora, Ill. / February 26, 2019

(TNS) - Aurora, Ill., police released audio of the 911 calls and emergency dispatch made during the Feb. 15 Aurora warehouse shooting at Henry Pratt Co. that left five employees dead.

Police communications detail the hour-long manhunt that injured six police officers, who were also identified by the department Monday.

The shooter — Gary Martin — began firing either during or shortly after a meeting where he was fired from the job he held for 15 years. He then retreated into the back of the 29,000-square-foot facility at 641 Archer Ave. and was eventually killed in a shootout with Aurora and Naperville police.

Five officers quickly responded to dispatch calls. One said “we are moving north through the warehouse. We haven’t heard anything yet,” when suddenly another officer screams that shots were fired outside in a bay area.

Three minutes in, an officer yelled “I’ve been shot,” with grunting noises heard in the background.

“Get the shields out, get the shields out,” another officer yelled.

“This is pretty bad. I need more people over here. We got to get him out of here,” another officer said.

Upstairs inside the warehouse, a panting officer said he’d found victims and they appeared to be dead.

Another officer began screaming that the shooter was firing from a first-floor window at police outside. Seconds later, another officer chimed in, “I’ve been shot.”

The shooter was reportedly at the stairwell on the north side of the building when another officer said he was shot in the leg. Another officer is heard whispering to tell dispatch he is with the injured officer and he has a tourniquet prepared if needed.

“I’m hit. I’m still in the fight,” an officer said.

“We have this guy contained in this building,” one officer said. “Let’s make sure we get a perimeter all around this building and everybody holds tight. We’ll get (a special response team) in here.”

Around 10 minutes into the tapes, police said they did not hear shots fired anymore. The audio details medics and special response teams working to find the shooter, who had run farther back into the building, and also rescue victims and employees inside.

Around 18 minutes in, another officer called for a BearCat, an armored police vehicle, near an area he believed was close to the shooter’s location.

“He was over where I’m at. That’s why I need to get out of here. I got windows all around me. I need to move but I can’t. I have no protection, no shield. If you could bring that BearCat over. I’m pleading with you. I’ve got a civilian over here.”

Various employee witnesses ran out of the building over time and gave police more details about the shooter: he is wearing a hoodie, has a handgun with a laser and could be anywhere in the building.

“Just so we don’t have a false sense of confidence behind those shields, just keep in mind that those rounds sounded like some high-caliber stuff, just FYI,” an officer said.

The shooter was identified early on by employees calling 911.

A surveillance drone hovered 200 feet above the building and one officer said to keep an eye on the roof in case the shooter has roof access.

“He’ll have a dominant position at that point, too.”

Officers used black markers to mark each window of rooms that had been cleared.

The dispatcher said they tried to ping the shooter’s phone to get a location for him, but it just gave his home address.

One hour in, police said shots were fired on the far north end of the building.

“We’re moving up to make contact with the offender… We’ve got visual. Suspect appears to be down. The suspect is down.”

Additionally, three 911 calls made to Aurora’s dispatch center were released.

In one of the calls, a warehouse supervisor tells the dispatcher an employee was being fired when the shooting began and said the shooter was still inside the warehouse.

“Where are you at, sir?” the dispatcher asked.

“Inside the warehouse — hiding,” the man replied.

“I heard shots. I don’t know if anybody is hurt,” he said while panting, stating the shooter was talking to a manager when the shooting began.

“I’m hiding in a completely separate room right now,” the caller said. “I can’t see or hear anything. I’m not taking any chances here.”

Two of the calls immediately identified the shooter as Gary Martin and gave a suspect description.

The dispatcher said officers were staging outside.

“This is not secure,” the dispatcher said. “This guy is not in custody. Nobody moves any farther. Do not give him a target.”

mejones@chicagotribune.com

———

©2019 The Beacon-News (Aurora, Ill.)

Visit The Beacon-News (Aurora, Ill.) at www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/aurora-beacon-news

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
 

Platforms & Programs