A mass shooting at Northern Illinois University left six people dead, including the gunman Steve Kazmierczak. NIU is located in DeKalb (65 miles outside Chicago).
The victims were:
Catalina Garcia, 20
Julianna Gehant, 32
Ryanne Mace, 19
Gayle Dubowski, 20
Daniel Parmenter, 20
Valentines Day Massacre
Kazmierczak, 27, was not a current student. He had been enrolled as a sociology graduate student at NIU but left school last spring. Dressed in black, he stormed into an oceanography class and opened fire with a shotgun and two handguns. In a matter of seconds, 5 people were killed and 18 wounded. Then, still on stage, he killed himself.
This was the worst campus shooting in America since April 16, 2007, when 32 people were shot to death on the campus of Virginia Tech University by Seung-Hui Cho. (In Finland, on November 7th, 2007, Pekka Eric Auvinen killed 8 people at Jokela High School before turning the gun on himself).
Some info on Steve Kazmierczak:
name: Kazmierczak Steven Phillip
sudent_department_name: School of Social Work
student_program_name: MSW:Social Work -UIUC
student_level_description: Graduate – Urbana-Champaign
student_major_name: Social Work
title: ACADEMIC HOURLY
type: person phone student staff
club he was in: Academic Criminal Justice Association, Vice-President
Kazmierczak coauthored a paper on prison self-injury:
Thomas, Jim, Margaret Leaf, Steve Kazmierczak, and Josh Stone. 2006. “Self-Injury in Correctional Settings: ‘Pathology’ of Prisons or of Prisoners?” Criminology and Public Policy 5(1):193-202.
Steve Kazmierczak: “Beginning graduate work at Northern Illinois University. In addition to his interests in corrections, political violence, and peace and social justice, he is co-authoring a manuscript on the role of religion in the formation of early prisons in the United States with Jim Thomas and Josh Stone. He is also develops content for online education and is an executive board officer of the NIU student chapter of the American Correctional Association.”
Political violence? Uncovering this man’s history should be very interesting, indeed.
… Steven P. Kazmierczak, 27, formerly of Elk Grove Village
… most recently registered as a graduate student pursuing a masters degree in sociology at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.
… just before he left NIU, Kazmierczak’s 58-year-old mother died in the fall of 2006 after suffering from ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a degenerative disease, according to obituaries from the time and ALS memorial Web sites.
… in 2006, the NIU sociology department gave Kazmierczak one of its highest honors, the Annual Dean’s Award.
… Kazmierczak graduated from Elk Grove High School in 1998. The high school yearbook lists him as enrolling in a special public service class and playing in the school band. He also made honor roll.
Kazmierczak’s girlfriend, Jessica Baty, said that he was taking the drugs Xanax, Ambien, and Prozac. But he was never violent, according to her.
Since the shooting, authorities have intercepted a number of packages he sent to her, which included such items as a gun holster and ammunition, a textbook on serial killers for her class, the book The Antichrist by Friedrich Nietzsche, and a final note written for her, signed with his given name and family name. The shooting was baffling to those who knew him, as he appeared outgoing and never appeared to have social problems. This has also confused investigators, who have not found a suicide note. Some of Kazmierczak’s former NIU roommates described him as a quiet man who usually stayed to himself. They stated that, while fairly normal, they did not see him spend much time with other students.
A story published by Esquire stated that he allegedly had a history of mental illness and attempted suicides, was bullied in high school, and had shown an interest in previous school shootings, particularly those that occurred at Columbine High School and Virginia Tech.