Mass Shooting at Northern Illinois University - 2008


Steven Kazmierczak

by Michael Thomas Barry

On February 14, 2008, Steven Kazmierczak shot multiple people on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, killing five and injuring twenty-one, before committing suicide. At approximately 3:05 p.m., Steven Kazmierczak entered Cole Hall wearing a black t-shirt with the word "Terrorist" written across the chest imposed over an image of an assault rifle.

He also carried in a shotgun concealed in a guitar case. Kazmierczak entered the auditorium from the vestibule, using a door at the extreme southwest corner of the room, which led directly to the stage in front of the classroom. Kazmierczak walked a short distance across the stage and fired into the crowd of students with the shotgun. He then shot at the instructor, who was standing on the east side of the stage, going over a test that was held during the previous class meeting. The instructor tried to run out the exit at the southeast corner of the room, but that door was locked. The instructor proceeded towards the east end of the classroom out the main exits, in which the students were trying to exit. Some students who were not able to immediately escape hid under or in between the seats. When Kazmericzak paused to reload after firing three rounds, some students shouted "He's reloading" and began to escape. Others continued to hide or were too shocked to react. Once he expended all available shotgun rounds (six rounds), Kazmierczak fired on the room's remaining occupants with the 9mm Glock pistol, firing a total of approximately 50 rounds. He was reported to have walked up and down the west aisle and directly in front of or on the stage, firing at people as he went. A total of 25 people were shot, six of whom died (including the perpetrator, who shot himself before police arrived). At the time of the shootings, Kazmierczak was a graduate student in the school of social work at the University of Illinois; he was also a former NIU Sociology graduate student. 


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