There’s a Devil Loose: Last Text from Husband Killed in Illinois Workplace Shooting: ‘I Love You. I’ve Been Shot at Work.’

Josh Pinkard, 37, second from right, and his family in an undated photo. Pinkard was a victim of the Aurora mass shooting on Feb. 15, 2019. (Imagination Photography by Miranda Cunningham)
Josh Pinkard, 37, second from right, and his family in an undated photo. Pinkard was a victim of the Aurora mass shooting on Feb. 15, 2019. (Imagination Photography by Miranda Cunningham)

For Terra Pinkard, the nightmare began with an ominous text from her husband: “I love you, I’ve been shot at work.”

Pinkard would soon learn that her husband, Josh Pinkard, was among the five people killed when a co-worker who was being terminated from Henry Pratt Co. opened fire. Pinkard, 37, was the manager of the plant, where water valves are made.

In a Facebook message posted on Sunday, Terra Pinkard said it took her “several times reading it for it to hit me that it was real.”

Then, she wrote, she started calling his phone. She texted and FaceTimed him — and got no response. She reached someone at the plant who told her she was “barricaded in her room with police everywhere.”

“Of course my heart dropped,” Pinkard wrote. Then she said she loaded the couple’s three children into her car and drove toward the plant, but was stopped by an officer stationed at one of the closed streets, who could not provide any information.

So then she drove to two local hospitals but still could not get any news of her husband.

“While waiting (at the second hospital for) news, chaplains, my pastor, neighbors, his coworkers, came to sit with me and hold my hand,” she wrote. Hours later, an officer told her of a staging area for victims’ families. “I don’t know how my body drove itself there but it did,” Pinkard wrote.

There, another officer read a list of fatalities; her husband’s name was on it.

“I immediately left and went to get my kids,” she wrote. Out-of-state family members were still on flights into the Chicago area — Josh Pinkard hailed from the small town of Holly Pond, Ala., though his immediate family now lives in Oswego — so Terra Pinkard said her pastor supported her as she broke the news to her children.

“I told my children that their dad did not make it and is in heaven with Jesus,” she wrote. “I’ve never had to do something that hard.”

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SOURCE: Sarah Freishtat
The Beacon-News