Trevor Wehner was at his first day of work for a college internship at the Henry Pratt Co. plant in Aurora, Illinois, when a disgruntled employee burst in with a gun and opened fire, killing the 21-year-old.
Wehner was one of five killed in Friday’s attack at the manufacturing plant, dying just hours after starting his first day of work with the company. As the New York Post reported, Wehner was set to graduate from Northern Illinois University with a degree in human resource management and was working at the plant to learn about how it interacted with employees.
One of Trevor’s tasks on his first day was to attend a meeting with longtime employee Gary Martin, who was being fired. Wehner observed the termination, and was still there moments later when Martin pulled a.40-caliber revolver and opened fire in an attack that killed Wehner, along with two other employees in the room.
Martin continued the shooting outside the room, killing two other employees who were nearby. He also opened fire on police officers who responded to the shooting, wounding five before being shot and killed in a firefight with police.
Wehner was remembered fondly by friends and family. Dean Prokos, owner of the restaurant in DeKalb where Wehner worked as a delivery driver, said the 21-year-old was loved by all who knew him.
“He’s one of my top employees,” Prokos told the Daily Herald. “We called him our big bear. He had a heart of gold, and everybody loved him. He cared about his job. He cared about his friends.”
Wehner was so committed to his job at the restaurant that he told Prokos he planned to commute to Aurora during the week and return to DeKalb on the weekends to continue working there.
One of the Aurora shooting victims now identified as 21 year old Trevor Wehner. Family friend says it was his first day at the Henry Pratt company. He was an HR intern who was sitting in on the shooter’s firing. @WGNNews pic.twitter.com/iLAFAIAqDQ— Ben Bradley (@BenBradleyTV) February 16, 2019
Ironically, the restaurant had a connection to another mass shooting. In 2008, a gunman opened fire at Northern Illinois University in an attack that left five students dead. One person who fled the shooting took shelter in Tom and Jerry’s restaurant, where he worked as a delivery driver.
The soon-to-be college graduate also had a longtime girlfriend and plans to settle down with her in his new job after graduation.
Police said the gun Gary Martin used in Aurora shooting was supposed to have been seized years ago due to his violent past, and are investigating how it was overlooked. The family of Trevor Wehner is now planning the funeral for the young man.