Northern Illinois University President John Peters says the school plans to renovate, not raze, the lecture hall where five students were shot to death on Valentine's Day. Peters says the majority of the "campus family" who offered an opinion on the fate of Cole Hall did not want to see the building torn down. However, most responders said they did not feel comfortable using the building in its current form. The administration is asking its students, faculty and staff to provide feedback on possible plans for the facility.
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EARLIER: After announcing that the lecture hall where five students were shot to death would be razed, Northern Illinois University President John Peters has changed course and is calling for a campuswide discussion on the building's fate. In an e-mail to faculty and students Peters says that Cole Hall's fate "should represent a consensus opinion" of the entire NIU community.
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Northern Illinois University trustees have created an internal panel to review the deadly Valentine's Day shootings on the DeKalb campus. The examination will focus on the school's response in the minutes and weeks after graduate Steven Kazmierczak opened fire in Cole Hall, killing five students and wounding 16 others before killing himself. The committee also will take a broad look at the campus' mental-health services, without delving deeply into the psychiatric problems that plagued the gunman since high school.
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FROM FEBRUARY: Gov. Rod Blagojevich has asked state lawmakers to spend $40 million to raze the Northern Illinois University lecture hall where five students were fatally shot and replace it with a new classroom and memorial building.
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Earlier: Students at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb trudged back to class for the first time since a gunman burst into a lecture hall on Feb. 14 and killed five students and himself.
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Illinois State Police will resume interviews Tuesday with students who witnessed the shooting rampage at Northern Illinois University. Investigators are talking to students enrolled in the introduction to ocean science class that was terrorized last week when Steven Kazmierczak walked onto the auditorium stage and began firing. Five students were killed, and 16 others were injured. Kazmierczak, a 27-year-old NIU graduate, killed himself after firing at least 48 times into the room.
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ALSO: Kazmierczak's former girlfriend says he left no indication why he opened fire on Valentine's Day. To read The Chicago Tribune article, click here.

A gunman accused of killing five students in a classroom at Northern Illinois University had stopped taking medication two weeks ago "and became somewhat erratic," campus police say. At the same time, officials have corrected an earlier statement that six other people besides the gunman had died, saying there had been a "miscommunication." To read The Chicago Tribune article, click here.

On the Northern Illinois University campus, Stephen P. Kazmierczak, 27, was considered a gentle, hard-working student, who was honored two years ago with a dean's award for his sociology work. Professors who taught him say it is was hard to imagine he is the same person that carried out Thursday's classroom shootings. (Chicago Tribune)

Northern Illinois has identified the five students killed in the attack. To read information from the university, click here.

CRISIS PLAN: Before the shooting, Northern Illinois already had an emergency plan in place. The plan was being developed before last year's Virginia Tech shooting and is constantly updated. The first NIU Emergency Guide was completed and distributed throughout the university on Sept. 6, 2007. To read the article from the student newspaper, The Northern Star, click here.

MESSAGING SYSTEM: At 3:20 p.m. Thursday, the words "CAMPUS ALERT" appeared on the Northern Illinois University Web site's home page, followed by a message staff members had prepared in advance, but hoped they would never use: "There has been a report of a possible gunman on campus. Get to a safe area and take precautions until given the all clear." The same message flashed out to all campus e-mail accounts, and was relayed automatically to office and residence hall phones. To read The Chicago Tribune article, click here.


EARLIER: A gunman dressed in black stormed into an oceanography class at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb Thursday afternoon and opened fire with a shotgun and two handguns. Five students have died, and 16 others were wounded. The gunman, who has been identified as Steve Kazmierczak, took his own life. He was not a current student; he had been enrolled as a sociology graduate student at NIU, but left school last spring. Authorities say Kazmierczak is a 27-year-old graduate student in social work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign . (Chicago Tribune)

EARLIER: Several people have been confirmed wounded Thursday afternoon in a shooting on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. (Chicago Tribune)