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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    7 slain in Northern Illinois University shooting

    Feb. 15 – A former student of Northern Illinois University (NIU) shot and killed five students and himself in a lecture hall at NIU Thursday afternoon.

    Witnesses from the Associated Press (AP) report said that the gunman entered the lecture hall from behind a screen on the stage shortly after 3 p.m. — when the class was about to finish. He then opened fire on the instructor and, after, the crowd in front of him.

    The gunman, who was a graduate student in sociology at NIU last spring, gave no warning. Panic ensued.

    Some students in the hall sprinted for the exit, while others hit the ground immediately, the AP reported. Many were crawling and shoving, all while shotgun shots bellowed throughout the room.

    One student kept running even though he was bleeding, according to one witness — Lauren Carr, a sophomore — in the AP report.

    Carr started to “army-crawl” halfway up the aisle, then made her escape. “I said I could get up and run or I could die here,” she said.

    Although police arrived within minutes, the New York Times said, five students were killed and 16 were wounded.

    The campus was locked down at 3:07 p.m., according to the Times, and NIU used its alert system to alert the campus of the gunman’s presence at 3:20 p.m.

    By 4 p.m., the Times said, police determined that the gunman, now dead, acted alone. So, they sent another message at 4:14 p.m., notifying the campus that there was no longer any immediate danger.

    The gunman — described as a tall, skinny man dressed in black and wearing a stocking cap — used a shotgun and two handguns in the assault.

    NIU officials canceled all classes Thursday night and the 25,000-student campus was closed today.

    (A miscommunication at the DeKalb Coroner’s office caused the reports that a seventh victim had died.)

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