NIU Releases Report on 2008 School Shooter

Steven Kazmierczak left no suicide note

By Andrew Greiner and Dick Johnson
|  Thursday, Mar 18, 2010  |  Updated 6:48 PM CDT
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NIU shootings: One Year Later

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NIU student says a prayer in front of a memorial to slain students.

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NIU shootings: One Year Later

The families of NIU shooting victims share their memories and heartbreak. Alex Perez visits with the Garcia and the Mace family one year later.
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The man who killed five NIU students and injured 21 others during a 2008 shooting spree did it because he was angry at the school, which he considered a surrogate family, a new report states.

The 300-page report, which looks into the psychology of Steven Kazmierczak, the graduate who stormed a university lecture and fired rounds into the crowd on Valentine’s day before killing himself, is an attempt by the university to explain the whys behind one of the worst school shootings in United States history.

The report claims Kazmierczak had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, a combination of schizophrenia and manic depression.

It quotes a sociologist as describing Kazmierczak as "one of the most respected... an 'A' student... an award-winning department leader... my teaching assistant... my co-author.. and friend."

But that all seemed to change when the department de-emphasized criminology as a field of study and pushed Kazmierczak to do studies elsewhere. 

Kazmierczak left the college midway through a master’s degree program in 2007.

A psychologist reports:  "In Kazmierczak's distorted world, moral code and personal restraint were overcome by smoldering rage and an uncontrollable urge to punish and maim."

For the staff that put together the enormous report for public consumption, it was both painful and cathartic, they said.  It's also something that other universities that have had similar experiences haven't done to the extent NIU has.  Peters said he hopes its impact resonates far beyond the DeKalb campus.

"It's a testament to the good work that's been done by so many people as memoorial to these students, and as something practical that others could use, God forbid," he said.

The report does not include police reports, and there is no real attempt to identify a motive for the killings because there was no suicide note, and Kazmierczak destroyed his cell phone.

The college recently held a memorial for the shooting victims.

Read the full NIU report here.
 

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