The wife of a man killed in a mass shooting that claimed the lives of five people over the weekend has spoken out about her late husband and the blessing he was to their family.
Josh Pinkard, 37, was the plant manager at Illinois manufacturing firm, Henry Pratt, and a father to three children. He, along with four other coworkers, was shot dead Friday afternoon by a disgruntled employee.
Gary Martin, who had been with the company for 15 years, was in a meeting regarding his termination when he pulled out his firearm and began shooting. Pinkard’s wife, Terra, said that her husband sent her a final text just before succumbing to his gunshot wounds.
“I received a text at 1:24 from my precious husband that said, ‘I love you, I’ve been shot at work,'” she wrote on Facebook Sunday. “It took me several times reading it for it to hit me that it was for real.”
Terra tried to call and FaceTime her husband several times, but to no avail. Eventually, she managed to get through to a member of staff at the plant, who explained that she was barricaded in a room and that heavily armed police were swarming the area.
“I finally got in touch with the Aurora [police] who told me of a staging area for victims’ families,” Terra recalled. “I don’t know how my body drove itself there but it did. The police told us there were fatalities. He read my husband’s name.”
At this point, the grieving wife said she asked her pastor for assistance breaking the news to her kids.
“With my pastor’s help, since family was still on planes to get to us, I told my children their dad did not make it and is in heaven with Jesus,” Terra said.
“I will praise the Lord for giving me this man”
Despite the excruciating pain and searing loss, Terra said she is choosing to trust in the Lord and thank Him for many wonderful years with her late husband.
“The world is darker and more sad now,” she wrote on Facebook. “A huge bright light has left this world. But God. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. I am lost and devastated beyond words.”
Terra continued, demonstrating her remarkable faith in the face of such tragic circumstances:
“Things that mattered yesterday do not matter today. I will praise the Lord for giving me this mountain of a man. I will praise the Lord for the children we have together. And I will cry out to God during this immense time of sadness and need. Please remember us in the coming days, months, and years. We are scared and are trying to catch our breath and just putting one foot in front of the other.”
Terra has set up a GoFundMe campaign to try and ease the financial burden on her family at this time. At the time of print, $13,000 had been raised.
Among the other victims was a young man named Trevor Wehner. Trevor, 21, was a Northern Illinois University and a human resources intern who was on his first day working at Henry Pratt.
The Henry Pratt Company, which manufactures large water valves, is expected to be open for business Monday.
“Mueller Water Products is shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy that occurred today at our Henry Pratt facility in Aurora, Illinois,” read a statement on the company website. “Our hearts are with the victims and their loved ones, the first responders, the Aurora community and the entire Mueller family during this extremely difficult time. Our entire focus is on the health and wellbeing of our colleagues, and we are committed to providing any and all support to them and their families. We continue to work closely with law enforcement, with whom we share our deepest gratitude for their support.”
Please remember all the victims and their families in your prayers at this time.