A fired employee opened fire last Friday, February 15, killing five at Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, Illinois. Among the deceased was Josh Pinkard, a newly-appointed plant manager, whose wife, Terra, recently shared his last text to her on Facebook.
In a Facebook post describing the aftermath of the massacre, Terra Pinkard wrote about the last message she received from her husband:
"Friday afternoon, the day after Valentine's Day, was a literal nightmare. I received a text at 1:24 from my precious husband that said I love you, I've been shot at work. It took me several times reading it for it to hit me that it was for real. I called his phone several times, text, FaceTime, nothing. I called his plant and a lady answered and said she was barricaded in her room and police were everywhere. Of course my heart dropped."
@chicagotribune How horribly sad... 🙏— Robert Schneider (@Robert Schneider) 1550449099.0
That text, which simply said "I love you, I've been shot at work," changed everything. Pinkard wrote of the near-impossible tasks that now surround her:
"With my pastors 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. I've never had to do something that hard."
For an old high school friend that was tragically killed in the Aurora shooting. Prayers go out to the Josh Pinkard… https://t.co/B4tTQzNGJ6— IAmIWill (@IAmIWill) 1550373987.0
Her husband, Josh, would have been the very person she'd want helping her through these hard times.
"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."
@chicagotribune Heartbreaking. May her family be strong in this hour of need.— Mayakovsky’s Ghost (@Mayakovsky’s Ghost) 1550449227.0
Before ending her post, Pinkard thanked her friends and family for offering so much love and support:
"The next few days are going to be filled with decisions to make on how to say my final goodbyes to a man I always said I couldn't live without. But you guys have poured out your love on me. You have covered me, my children, our families with so much love and prayer. It is the only way we are doing it guys."
@MomsDemand This breaks my heart. I can’t even imagine what that must have been like, for both of them. Just distressing.— Lexemes (@Lexemes) 1550591344.0
Social media users offered their condolences to Pinkard and her family.
@MomsDemand @bulldoghill I’m so sorry for your loss.— 🇺🇸Kerri Little Fish🇺🇸 (@🇺🇸Kerri Little Fish🇺🇸) 1550595218.0
@MomsDemand So sad. Sending love to all the families & friends of victims in Aurora Il.— L S (@L S) 1550592318.0
@chicagotribune @anabelaval ❤🙏The Lord hold your family in His sacred heart. God bless.— micheLeChicago (@micheLeChicago) 1550494380.0
Others felt enough was enough and legislative action should be taken to prevent future shootings like the one in Aurora.
@MomsDemand Terra Pinkard's account is beyond heartbreaking. Enough. No more excuses. The first common denominator… https://t.co/8ayMQGPTQU— Kate🌻 (@Kate🌻) 1550592008.0
This is America: you get murdered by #GunViolence at work then your grieving widow has to worry about health insur… https://t.co/4nWhfrrqod— Lori Ruder #Insulin4All (@Lori Ruder #Insulin4All) 1550424884.0
@chicagotribune Proof of the real #NationalEmergency, SO VERY SAD!— Robbie Rose (@Robbie Rose) 1550492639.0
Terra Pinkard has started a GoFundMe to help support her family as they pay for Josh's funeral expenses.
As of the writing of this article, it had raised almost $24k of its $25k goal.
Check it out! Donate to 'Josh Pinkard Memorial' - https://t.co/2eDLZ3LULz via @gofundme. This is the plant manger… https://t.co/YRKcpho1hA— Mike Stanley (@Mike Stanley) 1550550731.0
R.I.P. Josh. May your family find peace now that you've gone.