Intern on first day, grandfather of eight among victims of shooting in Aurora, Illinois – NBC News

The five employees of an Illinois manufacturing plant killed when a colleague who had been terminated opened fire included an intern on his first day on the job, a union chairman described as a “gentle giant,” and a grandfather of eight.

Gary Montez Martin, 45, killed the five people after being fired from his job at Henry Pratt in Aurora, and he was later fatally shot by police after apparently waiting for officers to arrive in a back machine shop, authorities said.

“My dad was faithful and said, even when he was sick: ‘Nope, I’ve got to go to work because I’ve got to do my job,'” Diana Juarez, the daughter of slain shipping and warehouse worker Vicente Juarez, told Telemundo on Saturday. He was a father of three and a grandfather of eight, the family said.

Killed in Friday’s rampage were Juarez, who joined the company in 2006; plant manager Josh Pinkard; Russell Beyer, an employee of more than 20 years and union chairman; human resources manager Clayton Parks; and Trevor Wehner, a student at Northern Illinois University who started as an intern in the HR department on Friday, according to police and the company.

Wehner was expected to graduate in May with a degree in human resources management, university president Lisa Freeman said in a statement.

Parks was an alumnus of Northern Illinois University who graduated from its college of business in 2014, she said.

Russell Beyer, Josh Pinkard, Vincente Juarez, Clayton Parks, and Trevor Wehner.Family photos

Thomas Wehner, Trevor’s younger brother, said, “He wanted to do some good to the people around him, help them out.”

“I looked up to him just because he did have so many friends and he was so loved, and I just always wanted to be like him,” Thomas Wehner said in an interview with NBC News.

Beyer was “a gentle giant,” Mindy Hilliard, who is married to Beyer’s brother, said. “He always was laughing and joking and had a smile on his face. He loved his family.”

“He had a daughter and a son and was going to be 48 years old this upcoming Thursday,” she said.

Pinkard, 37, was an Alabama native and “a devoted husband and father to three kids,” a cousin, Zack Howard, said in a statement.

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