NIU Gunman Had Stopped Taking Meds

Honor student's behavior 'somewhat erratic' before shooting
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2008 10:38 AM CST
NIU Gunman Had Stopped Taking Meds
Flowers, candles, and small notes sit in the snow Friday, Feb. 15, 2008, on the campus of Northern Illinois University near Cole Hall, the scene where a lone gunman shot and killed six Thursday on the NIU in DeKalb, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)   (Associated Press)

The gunman who killed five and wounded 15 in a Northern Illinois University lecture hall yesterday was identified this morning as Steven Kazmierczak, an ex-NIU grad student who had won top sociology department honors, the Chicago Tribune reports. "There were no red flags," said the campus police chief. But police said this morning he had recently stopped taking regular medication and had been behaving erratically.

The police chief described Kazmierczak as "revered by faculty and students alike." Under the tutelage of a prominent criminal-justice expert, the 27-year-old had done well-regarded research on prison systems. The shotgun and one of three handguns he used in the shootings were legally purchased 6 days ago from a dealer in Champaign, where he was enrolled as a grad student at the University of Illinois. (Read more school shooting stories.)

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