Terra Pinkard received her husband’s last words via text message.
As KTLA reports, Josh Pinkard of Oswego, Illinois was one of five people killed when an angry, soon-to-be-fired employee opened fire at the Henry Pratt Co. plant in Aurora, Illinois.
In a heartbreaking Facebook post that was re-shared by KTVU’s Frank Somerville, Terra remembered the moment she learned her husband had been shot:
Friday afternoon, the day after Valentine’s Day, I received a text at 1:24 from my precious husband that said: “I love you. I’ve been shot at work.”
That would be the last time Terra ever heard from her husband.
She said she couldn’t comprehend what she was seeing at first and wrote that “it took me several times reading it for it to hit me that it was for real.”
When the cold realization of what had happened finally washed over her, Terra tried desperately to get in touch with her husband. But FaceTime, calls, and more texts received no response.
“Friday afternoon, the day after Valentine’s Day, I received a text at 1:24 from my precious husband that said:‘I love…
Terra called her husband’s workplace and got a chilling picture of the scene there:
I called his plant and a lady answered and said she was barricaded in her room and police were everywhere.
Frightened, she put their children in the car and sped toward the plant. But she was turned away by a police roadblock. The cop manning the barricade couldn’t tell her what was happening, so Terra started searching the local hospitals:
I drove to the nearest hospital. He wasn’t there.
I drove to the second nearest hospital. Not there.
I waited for hours.
Finally, the frantic mom was able to get through to the Aurora police, who informed her that there had been fatalities at the plant. Then he read Josh’s name off the list of those who were killed.
“I immediately left and went to get my kids. […] 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.”
In the following days, Terra had to deal with the police and funeral arrangements. Meanwhile, “Every thought in my mind and everything I see reminds me of a precious memory of my husband.”
When asked by the media to talk about her husband, Terra admitted that she can’t talk about him without weeping and was even crying as she wrote her post:
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!
She wrote that Josh was always the one who she would lean on in a crisis. And at the very end, he still was trying to give her comfort:
[He] 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
As she struggled to figure out how to say goodbye to her husband, Terra concluded by thanking those who have supported her and asking for prayers. She concluded:
Please pray for my children. They are struggling because they miss a daddy who loved them so much. Please pray that somehow I can put that one foot in front of the other.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help support the Terra and her children.