* The shooter, Stephen Phillip Kazmierczak, had three weapons: a shotgun and two handguns * There were six fatalities. * Four students were dead at the scene and two others died at the hospital. * 17 to 18 total people were taken to Kishwaukee Community Hospital, two of them in critical condition * Two other people were taken to regional hospitals * All classes are canceled and NIU buildings closed until further notice. * Governor declares a state of emergency
(UWIRE) DEKALB, Illinois – A shotgun-wielding gunman who shot and killed at least six students in a Northern Illinois University lecture class committed suicide, police say.
Stephen Phillip Kazmierczak., who is a student but not one at NIU, was dressed in black and emerged from behind a curtain at the front of a large lecture hall and shot 22 people, four fatally, CNN reported.
Many of the victims were taken to Kishwaukee Community Hospital outside Chicago, which reports that three to four victims with head wounds have arrived among the 17 victims there.
George Gaynor, a senior geography student, who was in the class when the shooting happened, said the shooter was “a skinny white guy with a stocking cap on.”
He described the scene immediately following the incident as terrifying and chaotic.
“Some girl got hit in the eye, a guy got hit in the leg,” Gaynor said outside just minutes after the shooting occurred. “It was like five minutes before class ended too.”
University Police, DeKalb Police and other neighboring agencies are locking down campus.
One witness said the students took cover behind chairs and started crawling out of the classroom.
When the shooter stopped to reload, students began to run.
One hundred sixty-two students are registered in the class, said Peters, but he did not know how many were in attendance. Peters identified the class as Geology 104, which was scheduled to end at 3:15.
University Police responded to the emergency call and were at the scene in fewer than two minutes, Grady said. The shooting was over “very fast” and no shots were fired by police, Grady said.
In response, NIU set up counseling areas and called in additional counselors, Peters said.
There is no established connection between the Dec. 10 threats and the shooter, Grady said. NIU has received no credible threats since Dec 10, Grady said.
All university classes and activities have been canceled for Friday. NIU has not yet determined when classes will reopen, Peters said.
STUDENTS REACT TO SHOOTINGS Freshman undecided major Dan Espana was coming out of the gym when the shootings happened.
“I saw some kids running out of Cole Hall,” Espana said.
Espana, who was accompained by his friends, sophomores Paris Wilson and Eddie Sample, said he had heard the gunman was wielding a shotgun, and that it maybe a possible hostage situation.
“Stay from the Holmes [Student] Center and Neptune,” Sample said, restating what he had heard.
Class had just ended for freshman Adam White when he saw them running. Class had ended at 3:15 p.m., and White said he heard it happened at 3 p.m.
“I heard the shooter was a white male,” White said, stating he heard that seven or eight shots had been fired.
A mass of people rushed onto the Huskie Bus, junior Alex Ross said.
“I saw people running from Cole, towards DuSable and the bus,” Ross said. “When they got on, they were screaming and such.”
Ross said he saw one student, Troy Chamberlain, who had suffered gunshot wounds to his legs, run from Cole to DuSable Hall.
Freshman Sharon Khalil was leaving from Neptune Hall and crossing a bridge near Cole Hall when students came pouring out.
Khalil, accompanied by freshman Joshua Peter, said three wounded students had entered Neptune.
“One was Asian, and he had a headshot. People were around him with paper napkins and getting him water and sugar,” Kahlil said.
Khalil said that the other two students was shot in the leg and in the head, respectively.
Sophomore Tyler Dameron was driving home from the Campus Recreation Center. “I saw a ton of ambulances going by,” Dameron said.
Junior Corrine Case was waiting for her 3:30 p.m. class in the vestibule of Cole Hall when she heard three loud bangs.
“It was like little explosions,” Case said, stating that she had never heard anything so loud.
Almost instantly, Case said, people started to run out of the hall.
“I knew something bad had happened,” Case said.
One student told her that someone was shooting, and Case said she ran to the top floor of Reavis Hall. Case stayed up there for 20 minutes.
“I didn’t know what to do. People were still in their classes. Do I start yelling about a shooting?” Case said, saying that when she looked outside, she saw people walking by as if nothing happened.
Witness Jerry Sandoni was in the classroom at the time the shooting took place. He said the gunman was not in the class the entire time but entered towards the end of class.
“He came in from the door on the stage and just started shooting. He didn’t say anything.” Sandoni described the shooter as a white male wearing a black shirt and said he had tattoos on his forearms.
Sandoni sustained a lump on his forehead which he says he got when he fell down during the rush to get out of Cole.
Three other victims were found inside Neptune Hall adjacent to the scene of the shooting.
The victims inside Neptune have been identified as Jeremy (last name unknown), Harold Ng and Joseph Turzy.
All three sustained minor wounds. Turzy was wounded in his right calf and right hand. Ng and (Jeremy) both had wounds to the backs of their heads but were alert and speaking.
After a makeshift triage area was organized a sweep was made to find any additional victims.
None were found.
Turzy described the shooting as happening very quickly.
“I went down real fast. I was shot while I was running,” Turzy said. “The shooter was tall, white and wearing a black hat and dark glasses.”
Several students administered first aid to the victims prior to paramedic assistance arrived. Andrew Patten, an Eagle Scout was on scene helping the wounded
“I’ve trained for this kind of thing but I never thought a day like this would come.” Eric Nealson, a Wilderness First Responder, was visiting a hall director when the shooting occurred.
Nealson used his training to administer first aid to victim Joseph Turzy.
“I was trying to stay out of the way, Nealson said. “It’s good to let the people in charge take care of things.”
ONE SHOOTING VICTIM IDENTIFIED By ERIC ROOD
The Northern Star has identified one of the victims of Thursday’s shooting in Cole Hall.
Daniel Parmenter, a sophomore finance major, was one of six killed in the shooting, said friends and members of his fraternity.
Parmenter worked in the Northern Star’s business department as an advertising representative.
KISHWAUKEE HOSPITAL UPDATE Three victims are critical. One victim with a head wound has been transferred and one is to be transferred.
There is also another victim with a chest wound, while eight are in stable condition. Chest, shoulder, leg, head, and back wounds were reported for the eight in stable condition.
There are six “walking wounded” they are wounded but not life threatening, said Sharon L. Emanuelson director of marketing and public relations with Kishwaukee Community Hospital.
There are two surgeons on site and there are two surgeons coming in from Valley West Community hospital in Sandwich.
The hospital is currently in HEICS (Health Emergency Incident command Systems) disaster mode.
This mode is parallel to police and fire emergencies. Different people assigned to deal with the emergencies.
“We obviously have never experienced anything like this before,” E
GOOD SAMARITAN HOSPITAL UPDATES * Three victims have been transported to the hospital – two female and one male * Two are in critical condition and one is in serious condition