Shooting at Illinois Henry Pratt facility leaves 5 dead, 5 officers wounded; Mueller releases statement

Aurora, Ill., is located about 40 miles west of Chicago.

Tragedy reached the water industry Friday when a gunman opened fire at a Henry Pratt Co. facility in Aurora, Ill., killing five and injuring another, according to police. After a shootout that left five officers wounded, the alleged suspect was shot and killed by police.

Henry Pratt Co. is a manufacturer of valves. Its parent company, Mueller Water Products, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is one of the largest and oldest manufacturing companies in the North American waterworks industry.

Mueller released a statement late Friday on its website and social media channels addressing the incident.

“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 wellbeing 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. We will provide updates as we learn more.”

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) on Saturday released the following statement from executive director David LaFrance:

“AWWA sends its deepest condolences to our members and colleagues impacted by the tragic shooting at Henry Pratt Co. Our hearts are with those directly impacted by this event and the broader Mueller Water Products family. We also send our gratitude to the first responders who put themselves at risk during this terrible act of violence.”

According to Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman, the department responded to multiple calls about an active shooter at the address, a “manufacturing warehouse,” at approximately 1:24 p.m. CT Friday.

The Henry Pratt facility where the incident took place is approximately 29,000 square-ft. Upon arrival, officers were immediately under fire from the shooter, according to reports. A shootout ensued and it took roughly 90 minutes before the suspect was killed.

“A total of five officers were struck by gunfire,” said Ziman, who later confirmed on Saturday at a press briefing that the officers’ injuries were all non-life threatening.

Law enforcement also released the names of the five victims, all workers at Henry Pratt, on Saturday. An additional Henry Pratt employee who sustained injuries was released from the hospital over the weekend. Mueller posted another message from CEO Scott Hall on its website Saturday with information on the incident and victims.

Police said the suspect had a criminal record including six prior arrests and a felony conviction, and was not in legal possession of the firearm used in Friday’s shooting. The felony conviction was not caught during the background check conducted by Mueller when the employee was first hired 15 years ago, according to Hall in remarks regarding the incident.

Hall also confirmed the suspect was being terminated on Friday “for a culmination of various workplace rules violations.” He added that while there are many questions surrounding the suspect, the company’s focus is currently on the families of the victims and those in the Mueller family impacted by the tragedy.

According to Hall, nine people were inside the building at the time of the incident. A motive for the shooting remains unclear and the investigation is ongoing, said authorities.

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