Report: Aurora shooter vowed to kill everyone during warehouse rampage

  • Crosses were placed outside the site of an Aurora warehouse where an employee in the process of being fired killed five workers, wounded six police officers and another civilian and only ended with the shooter's death.

    Crosses were placed outside the site of an Aurora warehouse where an employee in the process of being fired killed five workers, wounded six police officers and another civilian and only ended with the shooter's death. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer, February 2019

 
 
Updated 4/29/2019 5:40 PM

The man who killed five employees and wounding five Aurora police officers during a workplace shooting rampage in February warned co-workers he planned to kill everyone at the warehouse if he was fired that day.

That's according to a memo issued Monday by Kane County State's Attorney Joseph McMahon that calls the police response to the shooting spree "justified."

 

In the report, an unidentified employee tells investigators the shooter threatened to "kill every (person) in here" if he was fired that day. Then he told the co-worker, "I am going to blow police up."

The employee told investigators he was aware the man carried a gun in his car, but he had never seen him take the weapon into work and didn't believe he was a threat because he was always making "off the wall" comments.

Investigators believe the shooter had the gun and ammunition with him when he arrived at work that day because there is no video evidence of him going back to his car later to retrieve anything.

The man was aware there was a disciplinary hearing scheduled because he was caught not wearing eye protection the day before.

Around 1 p.m., he was summoned to a meeting attended by four others. He was seen on surveillance retrieving something from his workstation and then going into a bathroom before heading to the hearing.

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At the meeting, the man was given a write-up for not wearing protective eyewear and notified that the company would begin the termination process, according to McMahon's report.

According to one of the survivors of the shooting, Tim Williams, the man began cursing and there was a brief argument with plant manager Josh Pinkard before the man began shooting.

Williams was shot in the back twice and once in the arm. The 37-year-old Pinkard and three others in the room were killed, police said. They were 21-year-old Trevor Wehner, a Northern Illinois University student who was at his first day with the company as a human resources intern; Russ Beyer, a 46-year-old mold operator and union chairman who had helped the gunman keep his job in the past; and Clayton Parks, 32, who was the company's human resources manager.

A fifth employee, Vincent Juarez, was killed at the loading dock. The report indicates witnesses believe Juarez was targeted by the gunman.

Williams fled the upstairs office where the meeting happened and was chased by the shooter. Williams told investigators he was shouting to other workers that the man was shooting and someone notified police who initiated an "active shooter response," McMahon's report states.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

According to McMahon's report, surveillance video recovered from the building shows the man positioning himself near a doorway and looking out a window as police officers arrive. He is seen aiming and shooting through the glass doors toward the responding Aurora police officers.

Officer Marco Gomez is the first police officer shot. Over the course of the next several minutes, more shots are fired at officers, hitting four. Officers James Zegar, Adam Miller, John Cebulski and Reynaldo Rivera also sustained wounds during the shootout.

Naperville police who responded to assist reported coming under fire from the man, who was using a handgun with a "green laser." Two officers returned fire.

An Aurora police detective, who serves as a sniper on the department's special response team, told McMahon's investigators that he fired his rifle twice at the gunman after the man began firing at the Naperville officers. The detective told investigators the first shot struck the man in the chest and the second in the head.

In all, McMahon's report states that the man was shot six times -- twice in the head and four times in the chest. One shot was presumably self-inflicted, according to a coroner's report.

Investigators also determined he had fired 64 shots during the rampage. There were seven rounds remaining in the gun, and he had an additional magazine containing 10 bullets in his pants when he was killed.

The report exonerates police from any wrongdoing in response to the shooting.

"There is no evidence any police officer committed any unlawful acts," McMahon wrote.

He also noted that any reports previously withheld because of the ongoing investigation should be released.

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