Update: The gunman has been id’d.
Six are dead in that awful massacre at N. Illinois University:
A gunman opened fire on a geology class at Northern Illinois University Thursday afternoon, killing five people before killing himself on-stage in front of panicked students.
NIU President John Peters a total of 22 people were shot, including the gunman. Four people, including the gunman, died at the scene; two others died later at area hospitals.
Officials said the gunman opened fire in a lecture hall shortly after 3 p.m. and the campus was immediately placed on lockdown.
The shooting happened at a geology lecture class in Cole Hall. Officials said the gunman emerged from behind a screen at the front of the lecture hall and opened fire with a shotgun.
Police said the gunman, armed with a shotgun and two handguns, shot the professor and several students before killing himself onstage in front of the class.
Witnesses described the shooting as “a very brief rapid-fire assault that ended with the gunman taking his own life,” Peters said.
Allah’s keeping updates. Apparently, witnesses are reporting that the gunman was deliberately picking his targets.
Main sponsor Rep. Thomas Brunner, R-Nisland, said most mass shootings have occurred in areas where guns are banned. If more people carried guns, they could stop mass murderers before they kill so many, he said.
“Should a person have less freedom and safety than anyone else simply because he or she attends college?” Brunner said.
Gov. Mike Rounds said he doesn’t object to the bill’s concept. He hasn’t read the bill, but understands the goal is to make it clear students can carry a gun on campus.
“In terms of putting restrictions on individuals carrying firearms, a criminal (or) someone with criminal intent isn’t going to listen to the law anyway,” he said. “The only individuals that are going to cause us problems are those who have evil intent to begin with, not individuals with good intent.”
A tragic truism borne out–again–today.