NIU Marks 5th Anniversary of Deadly Shootings
By Guy Stephens, with additional reporting from The Associated Press
A large crowd was on hand at Northern Illinois University on Thursday afternoon for the fifth anniversary of the campus shooting. Five students were killed when a lone gunman opened fire inside Cole Hall.
The shooter, Steven Kazmierczak, was a student on the University of Illinois' Urbana campus at the time.
Gov. Pat Quinn spoke at the ceremony. He called the victims five special young people.
"God gave them not a long chronological life, but he gave each and every one of those students a purposeful life," Quinn said.
Quinn said the days since the deadly shootings at Northern Illinois University have been filled with "hope, strength and compassion."
The ceremony was at the school's "Forward Together Forward'' memorial garden located next to Cole Hall. The building was the site of the Feb. 14, 2008 shootings.
Relatives of the victims laid wreaths at a campus memorial site. NIU President John Peters led the ceremony for the last time. He is leaving the university in June.