CHICAGO – A shooting Thursday at a suburban Chicago university left five people dead, including the gunman, US media reported, citing police officials.
“It has been confirmed that there has been a shooting on campus and several people have been taken away by ambulance,” Northern Illinois University said on its website.
“Police are confirming that the shooter is dead by a self-inflicted gunshot,” Northern Illinois University said in a statement.
“Campus police report that the immediate danger has passed. The gunman is no longer a threat,” the university said in a later update.
CNN reported that as many as 18 people had been shot. A local hospital said it was expecting 15 victims but there was no word on their condition.
A student named John told local radio station WBBM that the shooter burst into an auditorium and began firing with a shotgun on the more than 100 students inside.
“He pointed it into the middle of the class… then he went for the teacher,” John said.
Dominique Broxton, 22 told the Chicago Tribune that she could see two wounded students from her dorm room.
“The ambulance took away two students on the ground right outside my dorm,” she said. “I don’t know them. They looked bloody. Where I am right now, there are a lot of police, at least a dozen. There are police cars and trucks everywhere.”
Broxton said the scene was chaotic.
“I saw a lot of confusion,” she said. “Students were running. People really didn’t know what was going on. There is an intercom system inside the dorm. Someone came on and stated that someone had been caught. They said they caught the shooter and that we should remain calm and stay in our rooms. I am in my room now.”
The shooting came ten months after 32 students and faculty were shot down by a mentally disturbed student at Virginia Tech University in one of the deadliest massacres ever at a US school.
Northern Illinois University, 100 kilometres west of Chicago, has more than 25,000 students. -AFP/vm