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More than 1,500 brave freezing rain to honour Aurora shooting victims

WATCH: Vigil held at Henry Pratt Company in Aurora to remember the victims of Friday's shooting

More than 1,500 people braved snow and freezing drizzle to attend a prayer vigil for five slain co-workers Sunday, two days after they were fatally shot at a suburban Chicago manufacturing plant by a longtime employee who was fired moments earlier.

READ MORE: Victims of Aurora shooting included intern on his first day

The Rev. Dan Haas told those who gathered near five white crosses erected for the shooting victims outside the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora that Friday’s “senseless killings” left their families brokenhearted in the city about 40 miles (65 kilometres) west of Chicago.

“All of these were relatively young people – many of them were very young people. We will never know their gifts and talents. Their lives were snuffed out way too short,” he said of the victims, who included a 21-year-old university student on his first day as an intern.

One of victim Vicente Juarez's daughter Diana Juarez cries at a makeshift memorial Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday. Authorities say an initial background check five years ago failed to flag an out-of-state felony conviction that would have prevented a man from buying the gun he used in the mass shooting in Aurora.
One of victim Vicente Juarez's daughter Diana Juarez cries at a makeshift memorial Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday. Authorities say an initial background check five years ago failed to flag an out-of-state felony conviction that would have prevented a man from buying the gun he used in the mass shooting in Aurora. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Casildo Cuevas, right, holds a victim's cross as he walks to the Aurora police station after a makeshift memorial Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday.
Casildo Cuevas, right, holds a victim's cross as he walks to the Aurora police station after a makeshift memorial Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
People pray at a makeshift memorial Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday.
People pray at a makeshift memorial Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
A wet rose places at a makeshift memorial Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday.
A wet rose places at a makeshift memorial Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
People cry at a makeshift memorial Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday.
People cry at a makeshift memorial Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
People pray at a makeshift memorial Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday.
People pray at a makeshift memorial Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Mourners place a flower at the crosses outside of the Henry Pratt company in Aurora, Ill., on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in memory of the five employees killed on Friday.
Mourners place a flower at the crosses outside of the Henry Pratt company in Aurora, Ill., on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in memory of the five employees killed on Friday. Jeff Knox/Daily Herald via AP
People cry at a makeshift memorial Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday.
People cry at a makeshift memorial Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Family, friends and community members attend a vigil Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill.)
Family, friends and community members attend a vigil Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill.) AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Crosses are placed for the victims of a mass shooting at a makeshift memorial Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday.
Crosses are placed for the victims of a mass shooting at a makeshift memorial Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Family, friends and community members attend a vigil Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday.
Family, friends and community members attend a vigil Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Aurora, Ill., near Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing company where several were killed on Friday. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Haas called on God to bring comfort to the families and Aurora. He then read the names and ages of the five shooting victims, prompting waves of sobs and cries from relatives attending the vigil.

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WATCH: Moment of silence held in Aurora for victims of Henry Pratt Company shooting

Moment of silence held in Aurora for victims of Henry Pratt Company shooting
Moment of silence held in Aurora for victims of Henry Pratt Company shooting

The city of Aurora tweeted that about 1,700 people attended the vigil in a snowy lot outside the industrial valve manufacturer where several ministers and a rabbi called for healing.

Authorities said Gary Martin pulled out a gun and began shooting right after hearing that he was being fired from his job of 15 years at the plant for various workplace violations. Martin, 45, was killed in a shootout with officers, ending his deadly rampage. Five police officers and a sixth plant worker were injured in the shooting and are expected to survive.

Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin told the vigil crowd that the city’s residents feel for the victims’ families “with all our hearts.”

READ MORE: Aurora shooter’s gun permit was revoked but the weapon was never seized

“When I thought about the words that I might share with our community and the families of the victims today, I thought to myself that just to simply offer condolences is not enough,” he said. “It doesn’t measure the amount of pain that we feel, for the loss that we’ve experienced in this community.”

WATCH: Fired Aurora employee killed victims with illegal gun

Fired Aurora employee killed victims with illegal gun
Fired Aurora employee killed victims with illegal gun