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Five killed in U.S. university shooting spree
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10:52, February 15, 2008

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A young gunman stormed a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University (NIU) with a shotgun and two handguns Thursday afternoon, killing four people and injuring several others before killing himself, local authorities and reports said.

It was not clear whether the dead victims were among the 18 people University President John Peters had reported as wounded.

According to reports from CNN and the Chicago Sun Times, 17 others were injured from gunshots, three of them in critical condition.

NIU Police Chief Don Grady confirmed the deaths at 6 p.m. (2400 GMT).

Kishwaukee Hospital in DeKalb said it received 17 wounded victims, and three of them are in critical condition.

George Gaynor, 23, a geography major at NIU, said he was sitting in the back of the hall at 3:05 p.m. (2105 GMT) when a skinny white man burst in and opened fire.

The gunman looked like "a typical college student," and didn't say a word, he said.

There were about 150 people in the hall at the time.

Gaynor managed to escape before the shooting was over.

At 4 p.m. (2200 GMT), the university authorities said there was no further danger and counselors would be available to the students.

NIU officials wouldn't give details on the extent of the shootings, but said students and staff are on lockdown.

All classes have been temporarily cancelled.

Police have not released the gunman's identity yet, but said he is not a student at the campus, probably a student from elsewhere.

The 113-year-old NIU is 102 km west of downtown Chicago and has an enrollment of more than 25,000.

Source: Xinhua

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