Northern Illinois University

20 Stories

Author Leaks NIU Gunman's Secret Past

(Newser) - The student whose killing spree took five lives and injured 18 at Northern Illinois University had a history of mental illness and revered figures like Adolf Hitler and Ted Bundy, CNN reports on the first anniversary of the attacks. Steven Kazmierczak even wore a tattoo depicting Jigsaw, the Saw films'... More »

Mental Illness Drove NIU Killer to Suicide Tries

Army kicked gunman Kazmierczak out over mental health history

(Newser) - The shooter who left 5 dead and 15 injured at Northern Illinois University in February had tried to kill himself four times, an investigative effort by Esquire finds. “I want to die. Life sucks,” Steve Kazmierczak told a nurse after attempting to overdose on prescription medication while in... More »

NIU Shooter Saw Himself as Sensitive Victim

Kazmierczak's essays trace path from group home to dean's list

(Newser) - Steven Kazmierczak didn’t leave a note before his deadly February shooting spree at Northern Illinois University, nor clues to his motivations on his computer or cell phone. But in essays for graduate-school applications, the Chicago Tribune reports, the future killer writes extensively about his life and his mental problems—... More »

Va. Tech, NIU Gun Dealer: Arm Students

Looser rules will deter school shooters, says man who sold to 2

(Newser) - Eric Thompson sold guns to both the Northern Illinois University and Virginia Tech shooters, but he’s not apologizing for it. “I’m a businessman,” he tells the Los Angeles Times. “It’s a product.” But Thompson thinks he knows how to stop such violence: allow... More »

Students Aren't Signing Up for Text Alert Systems

Sense of invincibility, fear of revealing personal data to blame

(Newser) - Campus shootings keep making headlines, and schools are increasingly adopting text message alert systems as a response—but students aren't jumping on the bandwagon, the AP reports. Experts chalk up low enrollment rates to students' sense of invincibility, unwillingness to reveal personal information and the cost of receiving texts. "... More »

Game Nudges NIU Toward Normalcy After Shootings

Basketball team hopes playing helps ease pain of tragic shooting

(Newser) - Western Michigan needed to beat Northern Illinois last night to keep its hopes alive for the Mid-America Conference championship, but the game itself was much more important for the Huskies and their fans, reports the Associated Press. Western Michigan won the contest 56-49, the first athletic event on the NIU... More »

Questions Linger as NIU Classes Resume

School struggles with how to pick up pieces in wake of tragedy

(Newser) - As Northern Illinois University resumes classes today, the prevailing feeling is uncertainty. One professor will leave it up to her class whether to stick to the syllabus or talk about the Valentine's Day shooting that left five students dead. Others question whether the semester's grading standards should change and wonder... More »

Police Can't Find Motive in NIU Shooting

Gunman covered tracks, pulling hard drive and phone card

(Newser) - The student who killed five at Northern Illinois University last week took pains to stump investigators ahead of time, police say. Steven Kazmierczak pulled his computer’s hard drive and his phone’s SIM card; he also revealed little in a package to his former girlfriend. "The one thing... More »

Lover Airs NIU Shooter's Letter

'Don't forget me,' killer told girlfriend in final love letter

(Newser) - The girlfriend of the gunman who murdered five students at Northern Illinois University Thursday talked to him every day last week, including the night before the shooting spree, and detected nothing amiss. "He wasn't erratic. He wasn't delusional. He was Steve; he was normal," Jessica Baty, 28, told... More »

NIU Shooter Delved Into Satanism

Covered arms in Saw tattoos, abused girlfriend

(Newser) - The shooter in the NIU carnage that left five students dead last week began to exhibit troubling signs of mental illness as a high school student as he explored satanism and white-power movements, reports AP.  Steven Kazmierczak "started to identify more with hatred-type stuff," said a friend.... More »

NIU Shooting Victims Profiled

Loved ones remember young lives cut short

(Newser) - 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,... More »

Police Piece Together Shooter's Trail

Kazmierczak spent two days in motel room before shooting

(Newser) - Before his shooting rampage at NIU, Steven Kazmierczak spent two days in a motel, taking cold medicine and drinking Red Bull, the Chicago Tribune reports. He left behind no note, only a sealed duffel bag filled with gun ammo. Kazmierczak, who had stopped taking medication for anxiety, also sent his... More »

Same Gun Dealer Supplied NIU and Va. Tech Killers

Seller 'blown away by the coincidences'

(Newser) - An online gun dealer who helped arm the Virginia Tech shooter also sold accessories to the killer in Thursday's Northern Illinois University rampage, the AP reports. "I'm still blown away by the coincidences," said Eric Thompson, whose company, TGSCOM, is based in Green Bay. He called a federal... More »

Gunman Was Known as 'Gentle, Even,' 'Best in Class'

NIU sociology profs, students are stunned

(Newser) - Northern Illinois University profs and students who knew Stephen Kazmierczak said today they were stunned by his transformation into a killer: “I knew him as a warm, sensitive, very bright student,” one professor said in disbelief. "I have had him in my home." A mentor told... More »

States Weigh Allowing Guns on Campuses

Bills pending in 12 legislatures; advocates want ability to protect selves

(Newser) - Twelve states are considering bills that would allow people to carry guns at public universities, USA Today reports, a response to last year's Virginia Tech massacre. "The only way to stop a person with a gun is another person with a gun," says a University of Cincinnati sophomore... More »

Web Connects Mourning NIU Students

With cellphones down, many use Facebook to communicate

(Newser) - With cellphone lines on much of the campus jammed, Northern Illinois University students turned to the Internet to let friends and loved ones know they had survived yesterday’s shooting and to console each other, the Chicago Tribune reports. Most logged on to Facebook, where 10,000 joined a prayer... More »

NIU Gunman Had Stopped Taking Meds

Honor student's behavior 'somewhat erratic' before shooting

(Newser) - The gunman who killed five and wounded 15 in a Northern Illinois University lecture hall yesterday was identified this morning as Steven Kazmierczak, an ex-NIU grad student who had won top sociology department honors, the Chicago Tribune reports. "There were no red flags," said the campus police chief.... More »

6th Student Dies in NIU Shooting

Details on massacre emerge as victims fight to survive

(Newser) - A sixth victim of the gunman who opened fire in an Illinois college classroom yesterday has died and at least four more remain in critical condition. The assailant, a former grad student at Northern Illinois University, entered through a door to the right of the lecture stage and silently started... More »

College Shooter Kills 5, Self

Another 16 wounded after he opens fire in Northern Illinois lecture hall

(Newser) - A gunman opened fire in a packed lecture hall at Northern Illinois University today, killing five students before fatally shooting himself, the Chicago Tribune reports. Another 16 people were wounded. Witnesses say the gunman, clad in black, entered the lecture hall without speaking and opened fire. He had a shotgun... More »

Threat Invoking Va. Tech Shuts Down College

School cancels today's finals after discovery of cryptic graffiti

(Newser) - The discovery of a cryptic threat that referenced the Virginia Tech shootings has temporarily shut down Northern Illinois University, the Chicago Tribune reports. The scribbled message on the wall of a women's restroom in a dorm referred to a specific school building and today's date, and included a racial slur.... More »

20 Stories