Senseless tragedy strikes Northern Illinois University in Dekalb. University President John Peters said four people died at the scene, including three students and the gunman. Two others died shortly there after at a hospital. Another has also died making the total seven.
Peters said the gunman was a former graduate student in sociology at NIU. The gunman's name has not been identified, but we are told he was not currently enrolled at the 25,000-student campus. "It appears he may have been a student somewhere else," University Police Chief Donald Grady elaborated. No motive for the skinny gunman, dressed in black and wearing a stocking cap, was given. He emerged from behind a screen on the stage of 200-seat Cole Hall and started shooting just as the class was about to end around 3 p.m. Legal Pub has heard that the gun man had an interest in "prisons" and "religion in prisons." To date, it is believed that he had no criminal record.
Lauren Carr and Jerry Santoni were two of the estimated 150 students present at the time of the shooting. Neither Carr nor Santoni were shot. Approximately 18 to 20 students were; however, wounded. Dan Parmenter, a 20-year-old sophomore from Elmhurst, Ill., was one of those killed. George Gaynor, a senior geography student, described the shooter as "a skinny white guy with a stocking cap." The shooter carried a shotgun and a pistol.
The shooting was the fourth at a U.S. school within a week. On Feb. 8, a woman shot two fellow students before committing suicide at Louisiana Technical College in Baton Rouge. In Memphis, Tenn., a 17-year-old is accused of shooting a fellow student during a high school gym class. A 15-year-old victim of a shooting at an Oxnard, Calif., junior high school has been declared brain dead.
The madness needs to stop. Please feel free to use the comment information to provide information about the victim or gunman for closure or just to vent.
Update 2-15: Apparently the Chicago tribune has tentatively identified the shooter as a 27-year-old graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His name is believed to be Steve Kazmierczak. See Chicago Tribune for more details.