February 14, 2019

(Croton Falls, NY) – On this day, 11 years ago, a former graduate student entered Cole Hall at Northern Illinois University where approximately 120 students were attending an oceanography class.  The shooter was armed with a shotgun concealed in a guitar case, three semi-automatic handguns, and eight loaded magazines. From the front of the stage auditorium, he fired into the crowd of students, killing 5 and wounding 21, before committing suicide before police arrived.

The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus issued the following statement in remembrance of the lives lost and those injured eleven years ago today:

“We often see with tragedies that over time, the names of those lost and injured can fade away. We realize that the families impacted and the individuals injured are still here and that their lives are forever changed.

“To that end The Campaign would like to first honor those killed on that day 11 years ago:

Gayle Dubowski, Sophomore, Anthropology Major Carol Stream, Illinois

Catalina Garcia, Sophomore, Elementary Education Major Cicero, Illinois

Julianna Gehant, Junior, Elementary Education Major Mendota, Illinois

Ryanne Mace, Sophomore, Psychology Major Carpentersville, Illinois

Daniel Parmenter, Sophomore, Finance Major Westchester, Illinois

“And nine of the 21 injured, included:

Joseph Peterson

Patrick Korellis

J.D. Donohue

Ah-Num Rahman

Maria Christiansen

Emily Mayberry

Lauren DeBrauwere

Harold Ng

Samantha Saba

“The Campaign asks that the public take a moment and remember these individuals who were killed and injured on February 14, 2008, along with their families and friends.

“In the eleven years since the NIU shooting, at least 10 states have changed their laws to force public colleges and universities to allow loaded, concealed weapons on campus. This action, which is spearheaded by the gun lobby and carried out by state legislators, has only served to increase the risk of injury and death for students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

“The fact is that while shootings do occur on college campuses and receive a great deal of media attention, such events are rare. America’s colleges and universities are among the safest environments for college students, far safer than the communities that surround them. For example, in 2016, the homicide rate on college campuses equated to approximately one homicide per year, per one million students. If this rate were applied to the general population, the U.S. would have just 323 homicides rather than the 14,415 that occurred.  

“Today, we honor the victims and survivors of the NIU shooting and pledge that the answer to our nation’s gun epidemic cannot be to add more guns to our educational institutions, but to ensure that local, state, and federal governments provide necessary funding for intervention and mental health services.”

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The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus was founded in 2008 to urge colleges and universities to band together to oppose the gun lobby’s agenda to push loaded, concealed guns on college campuses. To date, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and more than 420 colleges and universities in 42 states have joined the Campaign. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Andy Pelosi, Executive Director, [email protected] (914-629-6726)