Terra Pinkard, whose husband, Josh, was among five people killed by a gunman at an Aurora, Illinois, manufacturing plant last week, has shared his final words to her. They read: "I love you, I've been shot at work ...
“It took me several times reading it for it to hit me that it was for real,” Pinkard wrote in a Facebook post Sunday. “I called his phone several times, text, FaceTime, nothing.”
On TODAY Monday, the 37-year-old mother of three said she wanted people to understand that Josh, a plant manager at the Henry Pratt Co., was all about love.
“I wanted everybody to know that that was Josh,” she told NBC’s Ron Mott. “And in that moment when he was going through what he went through. He thought of me. And he wanted me to know that he loved me.”
Josh Pinkard was killed at the plant Friday when Gary Montez Martin went on a shooting spree that began as he was being fired from his job, authorities said.
The others killed were Clayton Parks, the human resources manager; Trevor Wehner, a 21-year-old student on his first day as an intern in the human resources department; Russell Beyer, a mold operator; and Vicente Juarez, a stock room attendant and forklift operator.
Five police officers were also wounded in the attack.
On Sunday, love, tears and grief filled the air at an emotional community vigil in which five crosses were carried from the plant to the local police station in a display of solidarity and gratitude for the brave first responders.
“Now is a time to heal,” Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin said. “Now is a time to move together as a stronger community — stronger because we recognize we are in this together.”
Thomas Wehner, Trevor's younger brother, told TODAY he was struggling to cope with his brother's senseless death, but was seeking forgiveness.
“There's a lot of mixed emotions. There's some anger in there but, you know, he's still a brother in Christ, I still got to love him,” he said. “Trying to definitely forgive him even though it's hard because he took my brother, and I understand we're all broken and we have these issues.”
According to NBC News, police said Martin was not legally allowed to possess the Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun he used in the shooting. He was ordered to surrender it in 2014 after officials discovered a felony on his record, but he never turned it over.