The shooter, 45-year-old Gary Martin, used a Smith & Wesson handgun, the chief said. He was killed after police found him trying to hide and he fired on officers. The chaos at the workplace lasted 90 minutes, Ziman said.
Five Aurora police officers and one employee suffered non-life-threatening injuries, Ziman said.
The first 911 calls came to Aurora police around 1:24 pm. CT, with callers saying there was an active shooter at the Henry Pratt Company, which says he is one of the largest manufacturers of industrial valves in the United States.
An employee at the company, John Probst, told CNL affiliate WLS the shooter was a co-worker and had a gun with a laser sight.
Witnesses describe confusion, chaos at Aurora shooting ”
Witnesses describe confusion, chaos at Aurora shooting team of four approached the building, which is in a small industrial area.
There was a gunfire immediately, and one officer was hit, Ziman said. Four other officers were shot inside the building during the first five minutes of the response.
The gunman went farther into the 29,000-square-foot warehouse, and teams of officers went to look for him. The shooter was killed by officers, the chief said. A sixth officer hurt his knee and needed to go to a hospital.
"My heart goes out to the victims and their families who just went to work today like any other day," said Ziman.
Clayton Muhammad said the city's spokesman, 19659002] Probst told WLS there were about 30 people in the building at the time of shooting. Probst said he and a coworker escaped through the back door. Probst said that a nearby resident allowed him and his coworker to shelter in a home.
Four patients went to hospitals in Aurora, medical officials said. The chief said two wounded police officers were taken by air to trauma centers in Chicago, about 40 miles to the east.
Mueller Water Products, a parent company of Henry Pratt, said in a statement: "Our hearts are with the victims and their loved ones, the first responders, the Aurora community and the whole Mueller family during this extremely difficult time. focus on the health and wellbeing of our colleagues, and we are committed to providing any and all support to them and their families. "
Ziman said a search warrant was obtained for Martin's residence. Mary McKnight, who says she is Martin's next-door neighbor, moved to the apartment complex over the summer. She said she was not close with Martin, but the two would say hi to one another in passing.
"He seemed very friendly, he said hi to a lot of people who came and went, I'm kind of shocked I guess," McKnight said. "I'm sad and shocked, and you never know."
Aerial video from the scene just after shooting showed scores of police vehicles outside the neighboring companies. The response included at least six ambulances and six firetrucks.
After the incident, the police also put up a crime scene near Alro Steel Company
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI were responding to the scene, the tweeted agencies
Aurora, with about 200,000 people, is the second-largest city in Illinois, according to the city's website. Locals refer to Aurora as "City of Lights," and it is one of the first American cities to implement a fully electric street lighting system.
Aurora has a strong music and arts scene, and even the setting of the popular buddy-movie "Wayne's World."
CNN's Dave Alsup, Keith Allen, Elizabeth Joseph, Cheri Mossburg, Mark Morales and Jessica Schneider contributed to this report.