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An FBI agent stands outside a Northern Illinois University lecture hall on February 14.  AP photo.

An FBI agent stands outside a Northern Illinois University lecture hall on February 14, 2008.  AP photo


The FBI is assisting local authorities with the investigation into the tragic shootings at Northern Illinois University on Thursday.


Here is what we have learned working with our partners: At approximately 3:04 p.m. on Thursday, Steven Phillip Kazmierczak entered the rear door of a lecture auditorium in Kohl Hall on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. A class of approximately 150 students was in progress when the subject began firing into the crowded auditorium. The subject then returned to the stage in the auditorium and shot himself fatally. The subject was a graduate student in sociology at the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois. No motive for the shootings has been established.


Three victims died at the scene, two were transported by emergency medical services but later died at medical facilities. Approximately 20 additional students were transported to area medical facilities for treatment.


The investigation is being led by the Northern Illinois University Police Department, with support from the FBI, the ATF, the DeKalb City Police, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois State Police, and the Illinois Statewide Terrorism Intelligence Center.


The FBI’s role. On Thursday afternoon, Northern Illinois University Police contacted the FBI office in Rockford, Illinois, and requested its assistance. Our personnel arrived at the scene at approximately 5:00 p.m. and immediately began coordinating additional personnel.


Responding from our Chicago field office were executive managers, our Evidence Response Team, investigative agents, and crisis management personnel. Agents from our Springfield Division and Champaign resident agency are also assisting the investigation. 


Northern Illinois University police specifically asked the FBI to process the crime scene in the auditorium. Our Evidence Response Team arrived on campus at approximately 7:00 p.m., worked through the night, and completed its work Friday morning. FBI personnel are assisting with student witness interviews, subject background investigation, and crime scene processing. 


FBI Chicago crisis management personnel have established a Virtual Command Center via Law Enforcement Online—a secure electronic information-sharing website—to keep all participating departments and agencies informed. The Virtual Command Center is being monitored by the Chicago Police Information Center, a regional intelligence fusion center.


"The men and women of the FBI's Chicago office offer their deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the victims of Thursday's shooting. We will continue to offer the full resources of the FBI to school officials and local authorities in DeKalb, in an effort to help bring closure to this tragic event," said Chicago's Special Agent in Charge Robert D. Grant.

Related story: School Shootings: Advice from an FBI Behavioral Analyst

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