Spiritual

Aurora Husband Killed at Work Texts Wife 8 Final Words After Being Shot

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The day after the most romantic holiday of the year, Valentine’s Day, Terra Pinkard tragically lost the love of her life.

“Friday afternoon, the day after Valentine’s Day, was a literal nightmare,” Terra wrote on Facebook Sunday.

She received a text from her husband, Josh Pinkard, at 1:24 p.m. that simply read, “I love you, I’ve been shot at work.”

At first, the horrified wife couldn’t process that those words translated into reality.

“It took me several times reading it for it to hit me that it was for real,” she recalls.


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According to police, 45-year-old Gary Martin opened fire in a plant at Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, Illinois after he got fired. Martin reportedly brought a gun to his termination meeting that day and began shooting as soon as he received the news.

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The gunman killed five colleagues and injured six in his shooting rampage at the business where he had been employed for 15 years.

Terra attempted to call, text, and FaceTime her husband after receiving the alarming text, but all attempts to contact him failed. She then when on a frantic chase to find him.

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“I called his plant and a lady answered and said she was barricaded in her room and police were everywhere,” wrote Terra. “Of course my heart dropped. I grabbed my children and drove to his plant where I met a cop blocking off the roads. She couldn’t tell me anything. I drove to the nearest hospital. He wasn’t there. I drove to the second nearest hospital. Not there.”

Her pastor, chaplains, and neighbors sat with her to offer comfort as she waited for updates for hours. Finally, the Aurora police department got in touch and relayed the heartbreaking news that Josh was, in fact, one of the fatalities.

“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,” shared Terra. “I’ve never had to do something that hard.”

Though she has been pressed by the media to talk about her husband, Terra says she can’t do so “without breaking down in sobs.” But she penned a few heartfelt words about Josh on Facebook:

“I’m crying now as I write this. I want to shout from the rooftops about how amazing Josh was! He was brilliant! The smartest person I’ve ever met! My best friend! The man I would have leaned on during devastation like this who would tell me it’s ok Terra, it is all going to be fine. The man who was dying and found the clarity of mind for just a second to send me one last text to let me know he would always love me. This unbelievable person was robbed from us.”

In spite of the unthinkable agony that Terra and her children are processing since the loss of this great man, she is choosing to rely on the mighty promises and sovereign plan of God, citing that “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”


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“Things that mattered yesterday do not matter today. I will praise the Lord for giving me this mountain of a man,” Terra continued. “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.”

Please join us in praying for this grieving family, that God may heal and restore their broken hearts in the midst of this unimaginable loss.

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Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.

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