Steve Kazmierczak, a University of Illinois graduate student studying prisons, killed six people at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb before taking his own life, the Chicago Tribune reports. Kazmierczak, 27, was working academically Jim Thomas, a professor emeritus at NIU and a renowned criminal-justice expert.
Kazmierczak had been enrolled as a sociology graduate student at Northern Illinois but left last spring. Joseph Peterson, the instructor of the ocean science class on which the gunman opened fire, said he did not know the shooter and had no idea why he targeted his classroom. A gunman dressed in black stormed into the class yesterday afternoon and opened fire with a shotgun and two handguns. In a matter of seconds, he killed six and wounded 15. Then, still on stage, he killed himself. Classes at NIU have been canceled indefinitely. It was the worst campus shooting since last April 16, when 32 people were shot to death on the campus of Virginia Tech University by a student who later killed himself. Virginia Tech officials have called NIU offering help and advice.