CHICAGO (CBS) — A woman who struck up a friendship with Aurora mass shooter Gary Martin said there were signs he could be violent because he threatened to kill her.
The neighbor, who does not want to be identified, says she and Martin met when she first moved into an Aurora condo complex. But she claims he turned on her suddenly a decade ago after he asked her for a band aid and she asked him what size he needed.
“I was totally shocked,” she says. “First of all I was shocked by his attitude because of a band aid. I just asked what size did he need. And he just started yelling and screaming and just using profanity.”
She said she’s lived in fear of him since then.
“Gary has done everything he possibly could to me, everything,” she said. “From throwing rocks when I was in my vehicle, he has come over to my vehicle, he has beat my vehicle with me in it.”
She said it turned uglier after Martin accused her of damaging his car, which she denied. Eventually, the two took restraining orders out on each other. She said hers was dismissed after a paperwork error. But she said Martin continued to stalk and threaten her.
“He has threatened my life,” she said. “He stated, ‘I will kill you, b****. I will kill you.’”
She said she called police numerous times but because there were no witnesses, officers told her there was nothing they could do.
“And the police knew he had a gun,” she said. “Before all of this happened they knew he had a gun. And I told them he was a felon, and they did nothing, absolutely nothing.”
According to state police Martin should have surrendered his gun after a felony conviction surfaced after his application for a concealed carry permit in 2014. Aurora would have been the police department to retrieve it if officers chose or were aware.
“We have no record of receiving notice from the Illinois State Police that his FOID card had been revoked,” said Sgt. Bill Rowley of the Aurora Police Department.
The woman feels guilt, sadness and regret, which was intensified after she noticed a memorial to Martin outside his apartment. The memorial stated the shooter had a kind soul. It was later trashed.
“Sometimes I wonder, maybe if I was just a little bit more aggressive with the police and they had known what Gary was doing, maybe they would have locked him up, and this would not have happened,” she said.
She believed there were signs for years that Martin was violent, but she never thought he’d be capable of a mass shooting.
Aurora police have not yet replied to request for comment about the woman’s claims.