Aurora stands strong on the fifth anniversary of the Henry Pratt tragedy

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“Let’s raise our candle in honor of Russell Beyer, Vincente Juarez, Clayton Irvin, Josh Pinkard, and Trevor Wehner,” said Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin.

On Thursday night at the Belle Salle Events Center, 1920 E. New York St., the City of Aurora honored the victims of the Henry Pratt Company mass shooting, in which a disgruntled employee opened fire at the workplace five years ago.

Five workers at the company were killed, and five first responders, as well as another employee, were injured in the shooting.

“On February 15, 2019, a collective spirit of hope and progress emerged from the hurt and pain amid the tragedy – we became Aurora strong,” said Irvin.

Victims’ families speak at vigil

Irvin presented each of the victims’ families with a plaque to commemorate their loved one.

Tom Wehner lost his 21-year-old son Trevor in the shooting, and said the anniversary is always “an emotional day.”

“I actually look forward to it when people that know Trevor come up to me and tell me a story, actually brightens my day and helps me still hang on to his memory,” said Wehner.

Josh Pinkard’s daughter, Emily, said her dad taught her to always be strong.

“You hear the word ‘hero’ get passed around a lot, but if I had to pick my favorite superhero, it would be my father,” said Emily. “Nothing could break him, not even kryptonite.”

Memorial bench dedicated to Henry Pratt victims

At the vigil’s conclusion, the City of Aurora unveiled a bench with each of the victims’ names, donated by the Henry Pratt Company. The bench will live forever at the Aurora Police Department.

“Your loved ones are forever written in the pages of Aurora’s history, and their stories are permanently inscribed on the hearts of those in our community, and all over the world,” said Irvin.

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