Mental Illness Drove NIU Killer to Suicide Tries

Army kicked gunman Kazmierczak out over mental health history
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2008 2:20 PM CDT

(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 high school in suburban Chicago.

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Though obviously disturbed, nothing in the report gives a clear explanation for his murderous rampage, reports the Chicago Tribune. Kazmierczak, who was treated for bipolar and obsessive-compulsive disorders, also apparently heard voices and suffered psychotic episodes. He also enlisted in the army after Sept. 11, 2001, but was discharged after his superiors became aware of his mental health history. (Read more shooters stories.)

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