A former student opened fire inside a Northern Illinois University classroom Thursday afternoon killing five students and himself.
Florida authorities identified the gunman as former graduate student Steven Kazmierczack, 27. Illinois authorities have not yet confirmed the suspects identity.
The skinny gunman dressed in all black stepped out from behind a curtain minutes before a introductory geology class ended. Kazmierczack loaded with two handguns and a shotgun shot about 20 times before turning the gun on himself autorities and witnesses told The Boston Globe.
CBS reported that John G. Peters, the univeristy's president said in a press conference 22 people were shot. Four of the six died at the scene and two others died later at an area hospitals. All of the gunmans victims were students reported CBS Chicago.
Two of the victims were identified by the Dekalb County Coroner's office as Ryanne Mace, 19, of Carpentersville, Jullian Gehant, 32, of downstate Meridian. Joseph Peterson, the graduate student instructing the class was shot but CBS reported he is not in serious condition.
The course was a introductory in which 162 students, mostly freshman and sophmores were enrolled in, said Jonathon Berg, chairman of the department of geology. Katie Wagner, a student in the classroom, told CBS about 70 students were in attendance Thursday.
Northern Illinois University is located in a rural university 65 miles due west of Chicago and enrolls about 25,000 students. 91 percent of the students are from Illinois.
Moments after the shooting the university put into action the detailed security plan according to The Boston Globe, which was created after the Virginia Tech shooting last spring, the worst school shooting in US history.
Shots ran outside the university's Cole Hall shortly after 3 p.m. and by 3:07 the campus was put into lockdown. By 3:20 an alert was posted on the university website, email notifications were sent and, an alrm was sen via another campus system.
The rest of the evenings class were cancelled, as well as all classes Friday reported The Boston Globe. Counselors are being offered to students.
Police Chief Dan Grady told CBS the gunman acted alone, but no motive has been established. Kazmierczack had no previous criminal record.
Thursday night, technology was playing an important role in the recovery process, as students were logging onto social networking websites like Facebook to share their thoughts about the tragedy.
The university is devestated by the shooting, said witnesses.
"You don't think it's going to happen at your university and you certainly don't think it's going to happen in your department to people you know," Berg said to The Boston Globe. "You don't know how to react."
The NIU Department of Public Safety is asking that any individuals who witnessed the Feb. 14 shooting, or who believe they have any information related to the shooting, call the University Tip Line at (815) 753-TIPS. Police will return calls as soon as possible reported CBS.
The FBI is processing the crime scene and the investigation is being aided by the Illinois State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, the State Crisis Management Team, the City of DeKalb Police, City of Sycamore Police, DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, the Ben Gordon Center and the DeKalb, Sycamore and Cortland Fire Departments, as well as FEMA reported CBS.