A gunman accused of killing five students in a Northern Illinois University classroom Thursday had stopped taking medication two weeks ago "and became somewhat erratic," campus police said Friday.
At the same time, officials corrected an earlier statement that six other people besides the gunman had died, saying there had been a "miscommunication."
The gunman was identified as Steven P. Kazmierczak, a former NIU student, who took his own life. (The spelling of Kazmierczak's first name was supplied by a university official. Other references list him as Steven.)
"There were no red flags," said campus Police Chief Donald Grady, saying that Kazmierczak was someone "revered by faculty and students alike."
Kazmierczak's motive is a mystery, he said. Grady refused to discuss what medication Kazmierczak was taking or anything about his medical condition.
He said Kazmierczak brought four weapons a shotgun and three handguns with him when he kicked open a door to the classroom and began firing. Police found 48 shell casings and six shotgun shells in the classroom, indicating the number of shots, he said.
Authorities have traced the shotgun and one of the handguns to a gun dealer in Champaign, Ill., where Kazmierczak was attending graduate school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They said the purchases were legal, and there was no reason that Kazmierczak should have been denied purchase. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are tracing the other two weapons, said agent Kevin Cronin.
Earlier, the DeKalb County coroner's office had issued a news release saying that a sixth wounded student had died overnight, but university officials retracted that, saying there had been a miscommunication and that only five students and the gunman had died.
The dead students were identified as: Daniel Parmenter, 20, of Westchester, Ill.; Catalina Garcia, 20, of Cicero, Ill.; Ryanne Mace, 19, of Carpentersville, Ill.; Julianna Gehant, 32, of Meriden, Ill.; and Gayle Dubowski, 20, of Carol Stream, Ill..
Before the Friday morning news conference at which Kazmierczak was identified, NIU President John G. Peters said "the shooter had a very good academic record, no record of trouble."
Kazmierczak was not a current student at the school 65 miles west of downtown Chicago, authorities said. Peters earlier had said the man had been enrolled as a sociology graduate student at NIU but left school last spring.
In an interview at his home near campus Friday morning, a visibly rattled Joseph Peterson, the instructor of the ocean science class on which the gunman opened fire, said he did not know the man and had no idea why he targeted his classroom.
In Lakeland, Fla., local sheriff's police were interviewing Kazmierczak's father, Robert, at the request of investigators in DeKalb but would not release details.
Speaking briefly with reporters at his home about 50 miles southwest of Orlando, Robert Kazmierczak, 66, who is retired, said: "Please leave me alone. I have no statement to make. This is a very hard time. I'm a diabetic."
Then he broke down crying and went back inside his mobile home. Records indicate his wife died in 2006.
Officials said Kazmierczak, dressed in black, stormed into an oceanography class Thursday afternoon and opened fire with a shotgun and two handguns. In a matter of seconds, he killed five and wounded 15.Then, still on stage, he killed himself, authorities said.
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