Terra Pinkard is a mother of three young children and, on February 15, her life was changed forever. On Friday, she received a horrifying text from her husband, Josh, a manager at the manufacturing plant Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, Illinois. It was only eight words, but it was the worst text she’d ever been sent. “I love you, I’ve been shot at work,” Josh wrote. Josh was unfortunately one of the five people killed by Gary Martin on that tragic day, according to The Beacon News.
When Terra first received the shocking text from her husband, she was reportedly desperate to get in contact with him. She texted, called, and FaceTimed him, but got no response. Eventually, she began calling other people she knew from the plant and got in contact with a woman present at the scene who said she was “barricaded in her room with police everywhere.”
At this point, Terra began to panic. All she could do was load her three children into the car and race to the plant to see if she could find her husband. She didn’t make it far before being stopped by members of law enforcement, who had closed off the area. No one could give her any information on her husband’s whereabouts. She drove to several local hospitals to ask around, but still found nothing. Eventually, Terra had no choice but to sit at home and await hearing of Josh’s fate.
“While waiting for news, chaplains, my pastor, neighbors, his coworkers, came to sit with me and hold my hand,” she said.
Wife of Aurora massacre victim got text from husband: ‘I love you, I’ve been shot at work’ - Aurora Beacon-News https://t.co/gVxJ5oMqFf— Shaun Dakin (@IsCool) February 18, 2019
It was hours before Terra Pinkard was told of a waiting area for the victim’s families. Upon arriving there, she was given the heartbreaking news that her husband was dead. Still processing the loss, she tried to prepare herself to tell her children that their father wouldn’t be coming home. Her pastor sat with her while she delivered the painful news.
“I told my children that their dad did not make it and is in heaven with Jesus. I’ve never had to do something that hard.”
In addition to Josh Pinkard, Clayton Parks, Trevor Wehner, Russell Beyer and Vicente Juarez were all killed in Martin’s attack. Wehner was only 21-years-old and was embarking on the first day of an internship at the plant when he was killed. Five police officers were also injured during the shooting and later released from the hospital. The shooter was taken down by law enforcement and died at the scene.