Peoria County native among 5 killed in Aurora shooting

AURORA, Ill. (WEEK) — One of the five people killed in a shooting at a northern Illinois industrial plant was a Central Illinois native.

Clayton Parks of Elgin, Ill. was the Human Resources Manager at Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, a city of 200,000 in the Chicago area.

Parks was raised in Princeville, and graduated from Princeville High School. He also attended Illinois Central College.

Parks only recently started his job for Henry Pratt parent company Mueller Water Products, beginning in November 2018. According to his LinkedIn page, Parks worked in human resources for Caterpillar for several years, both in Peoria and Aurora.

Also killed in Friday afternoon’s workplace shooting was Trevor Wehner of Sheridan, Ill., a human resources intern and Northern Illinois University student. Parks graduated from NIU’s School 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,” said NIU President Lisa Freeman.

Mold operator Russell Beyer of Yorkville, stock room attendant and forklift operator Vincente Juarez of Oswego, and plant manager Josh Pinkard of Oswego were also slain.

Six police officers were also wounded. All of their injuries are considered non life-threatening.

The suspected shooter, 45-year-old Gary Montez Martin of Aurora, was reportedly about to be fired from the plant. Martin had an extensive criminal history, including a felony conviction for a 1995 stabbing in Mississippi. Martin’s FOID card was revoked when he applied for a concealed carry permit in 2014. The conviction in 1995 would not necessarily show up on a background check for a FOID card, Aurora police said.

Martin was shot and killed by police.

Tim Shelley

Tim Shelley

Social Media & Digital Content Manager
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