Sacked US man kills five co-workers, wounds five police

CHICAGO (AFP) – A US man being fired from his job shot dead five co-workers at a factory on the outskirts of Chicago and wounded five police officers before being gunned down himself, in the country’s latest mass shooting.

The gunfire took place at 1.24pm at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, Illinois, a suburb 40 miles west of Chicago, the country’s third-largest city.

Police named the suspect as Gary Martin, 45, of Aurora. He was a 15-year employee of the company and “information that we have indicates that he was being terminated today,” said Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman.

The shooting came the day after Nancy Pelosi, the powerful Speaker of the House of Representatives, said gun violence is a “national emergency” far more real than the one President Donald Trump ultimately declared on Friday to build his wall at the Mexican border.

Police Chief Ziman did not have further details about why Martin was being fired, whether the killing was pre-meditated, or whether the victims were involved in his dismissal.

“Five employees were located deceased inside the building,” and preliminary reports indicated they were killed before police arrived, Ziman told reporters.

Police officers guard the area where a gunman opened fire in an industrial area in Aurora, Illinois. – AFP