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Aurora mass shooting victim sues Illinois State Police, claims negligence

AURORA, Ill. — A father of four who was seriously wounded in the Aurora mass shooting last month is suing Illinois State Police.

Timothy Williams alleges police were negligent for not making sure shooter Gary Martin, 45, didn’t have a gun.

In 2014, Martin procured a FOID card (firearm owner’s identification) and bought a Smith & Wesson handgun despite a 1995 felony conviction in Mississippi for aggravated assault.

Authorities said the conviction didn’t come up during an initial background check. When Martin tried to get a concealed carry license that same year, however, a background check at that point revealed the conviction. Martin was denied the license. His FOID card was revoked, and Martin was supposed to turn in his gun.

He didn’t.

On Feb. 15, authorities said, Martin used that gun to open fire at Henry Pratt Company in suburban Aurora, killing five victims and wounding Williams and five police officers. Martin was fatally shot.

Williams, a union steward, said he was in a disciplinary meeting with Martin when the man began shooting that afternoon.

Martin was getting in trouble for pulling foam off his safety goggles, Williams said, and went crazy when the conversation turned to the topic of being fired.

Williams said he barely made it out of the room alive, managing to run away when Martin stopped to reload. Williams said he ran through the plant warning his co-workers to get out.

Williams was shot three times; one bullet ripped through his arm. He’s still at home recovering.

Williams filed a negligence suit against Illinois State Police. He is seeking $2 million in damages, the maximum available in this type of suit in Illinois.

Williams’ attorney said many of the man’s injuries could be permanent. He still has two bullets lodged in his back.

“Somebody with a violent history having a firearm — that’s what this is all about,” attorney David Rapoport said.

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