I honestly think the only way to put an end to all these shootings is to allow students who are of age and have completed the necessary training to carry concealed weapons. I guarantee these gunmen will think twice about walking into a classroom when they know there's a good chance someone might shoot back.Gunman kills 6, self in campus shooting
By Judy Keen, USA TODAY
DEKALB, Ill. — Students crawled, hid and ran in terror from a man dressed in black who appeared from behind a screen at a lecture hall Thursday at a university outside Chicago and blasted students with gunfire before shooting himself in a melee that was over in less than two minutes, school officials said.
Six people died from gunshot wounds and 15 others were injured in Northern Illinois University shooting, University Police chief Donald Grady and the DeKalb County coroner's office said.
Lauren Carr said she was in the third row of a lecture hall in Cole Hall about 3 p.m. when she saw the shooter walk through a door at the side of the stage, pointing a gun straight ahead. The 20-year-old sophomore said she "crawled halfway up the aisle."
"I said I could get up and run or I could die here," she said. A student in front of her was bleeding, "but he just kept running. I heard this girl scream, 'Run, he's reloading the gun!' "
Grady said the gunman had a shotgun and two pistols and was a former student at the school of 25,000 students 65 west of Chicago. University President John Peters told CNN on Friday the gunman had graduated in 2006 with a sociology degree and then had been a graduate student in sociology, but was not enrolled at the campus when the shooting occurred.
"He was a good student," Peters told CNN. "There was no indication there was any trouble."
The Chicago Tribune, citing two unidentified law enforcement sources, reported on its website Friday that the gunman was a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Authorities did not release the gunman's name, but Peters said he had no record of police contact or an arrest record while attending Northern Illinois.
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Peters said those who the gunman killed were all students, four females and one male. Four others were in critical condition late Thursday.
The shooting recalled the deaths of 32 people at Virginia Tech University last year at the hands of a student gunman, an act that prompted schools across the country to re-examine campus security. Classes at NIU were canceled indefinitely.
The shooting came weeks after DeKalb police investigated in December writings on a dormitory wall that made references to the Virginia Tech shootings. Police found no imminent threat at the time.
The first shots were fired just after 3 p.m. during a geology class led by a graduate student. At 3:07 p.m., Peters said they put the entire campus on "lockdown," but did not elaborate on what that meant. Two minutes later sophomore Melissa Elaguizy said a teacher arrived at her classroom in DuSable Hall, near Cole Hall, to warn of a possible shooting and order the doors of the classroom locked.
Peters said the school then put out a campus-wide alert at 3:20 p.m. that included a message on the school's website and through e-mails, voice mails, public address systems and calls to media outlets.
"Get to a safe area and take precautions until given the all clear," the message read. "Avoid the King Commons and all buildings in that vicinity."
On campus Thursday night students were streaming out of a dormitory heading for home.
Robin Johnson, 18, a freshman from Chicago, was in her English class when classmates received text and phone messages about the shooting. She said her teacher locked the door, shoved a desk against the door and put a trash can on top of the desk.
"We didn't know how many of them there were. We didn't know if we were safe," she said.
Eric Johnson, 23, a senior from Addison, Ill., said he was standing 20 feet form the entrance to Cole Hall when "the doors flung open and a ton of people ran out. They were yelling, 'he's got a gun!' " Johnson heard two shots as he ran back to his dorm room.
The shooting was the fourth at a U.S. school within a week.
On Feb. 8, a woman shot two fellow students to death before committing suicide at Louisiana Technical College in Baton Rouge. In Memphis, a 17-year-old is accused of shooting and critically wounding a fellow student Monday during a high school gym class. The 15-year-old victim of a shooting at an Oxnard, Calif., junior high school has been declared brain dead.