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Crime & Courts

UPDATE: Victims identified from Aurora shooting include student intern

Police still speaking with witnesses

AURORA – Northern Illinois University student Trevor Wehner of Sheridan had just begun working in the human resources department at Mueller Water Products when he was included in a meeting in which an employee was being terminated.

That meeting turned tragic when employee Gary Martin, subject of the termination, opened fire in the room. Wehner was among the five employees killed yesterday in the Aurora shooting.

Police released the names Saturday morning of the five employees killed in Friday's shooting at the Henry Pratt building in Aurora.

In addition to Wehner, they include:

Clayton Parks of Elgin, the human resources manager

Russell Beyer of Yorkville, a mold operator

Vicente Juarez of Oswego, a stock room attendant and forklift operator

Josh Pinkard also of Oswego, plant manager

Another shooting victim, a male employee, was treated at a local hospital for non-life threatening gunshot wounds.

In the morning hours following the shooting at the historic Henry Pratt Building in Aurora, family members of the victims began identifying loved ones, surviving employees met with grief counselors and a community continued to absorb the shock of this local tragedy.

In addition to Wehner, Parks was an NIU alumnus, according to a statement issued by NIU President Dr. Lisa C. Freeman.

Freeman noted that Parks graduated from from the NIU College of Business in 2014.

"Loss like this is devastating and senseless. I ask our university community to please keep the Wehner and Parks families, friends and communities in your hearts and offer them caring thoughts," Freeman said.

"It’s important that we also support one another during this time of grief and sadness. Please know that there are a variety of resources available to you. Students seeking support can contact Counseling and Consultation Services 24-hours a day at 815-753-1206. Our Division of Students Affairs staff is also available to provide assistance and support services. For faculty and staff, NIU offers support though our Employee Assistance Program."

Mueller Water Products, the company that operates the Henry Pratt facility, released this statement on its Twitter account:

“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 well-being 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.”

Five employees of the west suburban valve company were killed Friday when their former colleague, Gary Martin of Aurora, apparently despondent following the recent loss of his job, entered the building with a handgun and began firing.

Police responded, and immediately took fire from Martin. Five of the officers were struck by gunfire at the scene before eventually shooting Martin, who died from his wounds.

Officers continued to search the 29,000 sq. ft. warehouse for additional evidence as the investigation continues.

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