An Army Corps of Engineers vet who wanted to be a first grade teacher. A violinist who knit for fun. A rugby player and frat man who worked for the student newspaper. The Chicago Tribune profiles the five students gunned down in their oceanography class Thursday at North Illinois University, while police are still searching for the killer's motive. All of the victims—four of them women—had Illinois hometowns.
One family said they'd urged their daughter, who served in the Army in Bosnia, Laos and Tonga, to leave the military and return to college; as the Iraq war escalated, they feared for her safety and wanted her near home. Others remembered kindnesses, talents, hopes. "She was ten thousand times better than the best parts of each of us," one girl's family said in a statement. "Our hearts are broken."