The motive of the gunman who shot and killed six students at Northern Illinois University last week was not known, officials said. He also wounded 15 people and sent panicked students fleeing for the exits before killing himself.
The gunman, identified as Steve Kazmierczak, 27, graduated from NIU in DeKalb in 2006 and was considered a good student, authorities said. He was not known to have left a note or to have made threats, NIU President John Peters said.
Witnesses said the gunman, dressed in black and wearing a stocking cap, emerged from behind a screen on the stage of 200-seat Cole Hall on Feb. 14 and opened fire just as the class was about to end around 3 p.m.
The school was closed for one day during final-exam week in December after campus police found threats, including racial slurs and references to shootings earlier in the year at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., scrawled on a bathroom wall in a dormitory. Police determined after an investigation that there was no imminent threat, and the campus was reopened.
A version of this article appeared in the February 20, 2008 edition of Education Week