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Family of Henry Pratt shooting victim, Oswego resident sues city of Aurora


ST. CHARLES – The widow of an Oswego man killed in the Henry Pratt Company mass shooting last year is suing the city of Aurora for what her counsel calls a wrongful death following a similar pending lawsuit against the Illinois State Police.

According to Kane County court records, Terra Pinkard – whose husband Josh Pinkard of Oswego was shot while he was at work at the Aurora plant on Feb. 15, 2019 – filed a lawsuit on behalf of her husband's estate through her attorneys on Thursday, Feb. 13, against the city, following the failure of law enforcement to obtain firearms and a revoked firearm owner's identification card from shooter Gary Martin.

The recent Kane County lawsuit comes after Pinkard previously filed claims against the state for allegedly failing to take the appropriate action regarding Martin's firearm owner's identification, or FOID, card and concealed carry license.

Martin's Illinois FOID card was revoked in 2014 after it was discovered while he was applying for a concealed carry license that he had a 1995 felony conviction in Mississippi, court documents said. The conviction was for aggravated assault against a former girlfriend whom Martin hit with a baseball bat and stabbed with a knife, according to court records.

Pinkard's counsel said in court documents that the lawsuit is a response to another pending suit from the family against state police. The state is claiming that the city must be sued before the suit against state police can be pursued, court records said.

Pinkard's cousel said in court documents the suit filed on Thursday in Kane County is "in no way based on the Aurora Police Department's heroic conduct on Feb. 15, 2019, in responding to the mass shooting event and other tragic events that occurred at the Henry Pratt Company."

Friends and relatives of Josh Pinkard, including Terra, and an attorney for the Pinkard family did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Record Newspapers.

Aurora police spokesman Paris Lewbel did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Record Newspapers.

The update comes a day before the first anniversary of the mass shooting. Pinkard, Russell Beyer of Bristol, Vicente Juarez of Oswego, Trevor Wehner of Sheridan and Clayton Parks of Elgin were all killed in the shooting. Five Aurora Police officers and several Henry Pratt employees also were shot.

The Juarez and Parks families also filed similar lawsuits against the City of Aurora on Thursday, according to Kane County court documents.

• This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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