(DE KALB, IL) - Six people, including a shooter, are confirmed dead at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois after a former graduate student walked into a class hall and opened fire.
NIU has a campus emergency alert system similar to that recently implemented throughout the Indiana University system, and it was fully deployed for the first time in a real life situation yesterday.
According to reports published by the Chicago Tribune, shortly before 3:00pm Central Time yesterday, the gunman opened fire on an ocean sciences classroom in NIU's Cole Hall, and ultimately killed 5, injured 16 and then turned the weapon on himself.
NIU's emergency alert system went into action at 3:20pm Central posting in big font on their website the words, "CAMPUS ALERT," and then relaying messages throughout student e-mail accounts, dormitory phones, and sent messages to student's Blackberries and voicemails to signed-up student's cell phones, much like the IU-Notify system would at Indiana University's various campuses.
Both Indiana and Northern Illinois' systems were developed after the relatively slow response to the shootings at Virginia Tech University.
Update - 6:50AM EST:
Chicago Tribune reports a sixth student has died from injuries this morning.
Update - 1:34PM EST:
Indiana University Police Department's Sergeant Jerry Minger said it is difficult to say whether IUPD officers could respond to a shooting situation in a way that would prevent additional damage since each of these situations is so unique.
However, he did say they work hard to prevent these problems in the first place, however you can see IUPD's plan to respond to such a situation here and see Indiana University's Emergency Preparedness plan here.
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