IL Shooter Had Gun Despite Beating Ex-Girlfriend

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A disgruntled employee who fatally shot five people and wounded five officers at an Illinois warehouse Friday had severely beat a woman in a domestic violence incident that should have kept him from buying a gun, the Washington Post reports. Two decades before Gary Martin, 45, opened fire on his co-workers, he was convicted of aggravated assault in Mississippi. Authorities there said he regularly abused a former girlfriend, at one point hitting her with a baseball bat and stabbing her with a knife. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison, serving less than three. He moved to Aurora, Il., where he spent 15 years working at a warehouse. He was able to buy a gun despite his felony record.

Authorities in the Chicago suburb said Martin was called into a meeting at the Henry Pratt Co. warehouse. When he was told he was being fired, he began shooting, killing the three employees who were at the meeting and two others nearby, said Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman. Among the dead was an intern on his first day at work. Police do not know if Martin knew of his termination and planned the shootout beforehand. As a union employee, Martin was likely aware that he was facing a termination meeting. In 2014, Martin was able to obtain an Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification Card despite his felony record. Some states and local jurisdictions provide incomplete records to the federal conviction database, and sometimes human error leads to missed information. Martin had applied for a concealed carry permit, which required fingerprinting. During that process, officials discovered Martin’s felony conviction. His application was rejected and his ID card was revoked. There was no indication that authorities confiscated his gun.

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