Aurora shooting: 'The worst day our company has ever had'

A background check when Gary Montez Martin was hired 15 years ago did not reveal his conviction for felony aggravated assault in Mississippi in 1995, an official with Henry Pratt Co. of Aurora said.

An emotional Scott Hall, chief executive officer of Mueller Water Products, Pratt's parent company, said the man was fired for a "culmination of violations of workplace rules," but refused to specify which rules were broken.

Speaking at a Saturday afternoon news conference, Hall said he did not know if company officials had been warned the man might be violent.

"I can say that if we have reason to believe somebody is going to be violent (when being fired)," the company takes precautions, he said. "I can only assume we did not (believe so)."

The man opened fire with a handgun in a warehouse, killing five employees and wounding five police officers and another civilian before being killed in an exchange of gunfire with police.

When employees heard the shots, they immediately disabled all access-card readers and locked down the facility, with employees remaining in place per company policy, Hall said.

"Friday was basically the worst day our company has ever had," he said.

He said the company does not have security cameras inside, and there are no metal detectors at the entrances.

"We will look over the next days and weeks at what we could have done differently," Hall said.

Supervisors will meet on Sunday and the company intends to reopen Monday, but Hall said he is not sure when production will resume.

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