Details of Aurora gunman’s past encounters with police show dark side

New information on the Aurora gunman obtained by WGN Investigates shines new light on his previous run ins with police. It also underscores how WGN Investigates was able to obtain information that Illinois State Police did not get when they approved his application to own a gun.

Gary Martin was an employee at Henry Pratt Company in Aurora.  Martin was about to lose his job and opened fire Friday at the warehouse, killing five co-workers and wounding five police officers. Martin died in a shootout with police.

Police reports detailed a potentially dangerous encounter between Martin and another woman while the two were driving in Oswego in October 2017.

According to the report, Martin followed the woman to her mother’s house where Martin got out of his car and began “yelling obscenities and spit on her vehicle.”

Police noted she was yelling as well.

Martin was charged with criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct.  Prosecutors later dismissed the case.

Martin’s family in Mississippi refused to talk to a reporter on camera.   But resident Charlie Brown said “(Martin’s) cousin said he was in trouble and stuff and he left and went to Aurora.  (He) was working, doing nice up there.”

Those interviewed by the media spoke of a man who told family he was getting his life back together outside of Chicago.

Court records from Martin’s 1995 conviction for aggravated assault foreshadow Martin’s dark side.

A psychological analysis from the Mississippi State Hospital quotes his former girlfriend as saying in 1993 Martin “held me and my daughter hostage in my apartment” and  “he would attack me” and threatened to “kill me with a box cutter.”

But that wasn’t the incident that sent him to prison.  Martin and his girlfriend resumed their relationship and less than two years later, Martin was back in court pleading guilty to attacking her with a “baseball bat and knife” and accused of  “cutting and stabbing” the victim.  Martin was sentenced to five years in prison.

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