NIU Gunman’s Girlfriend Talks About Shooting

DEKALB, Illinois (AP) — On the day that mourners gathered at a Dekalb, Illinois cemetery to remember five students who were killed in a campus shooting last week, the shooter’s girlfriend was speaking out about the gunman’s character.

Jessica Baty told CNN that Steven Kazmierczak called her early on Valentine’s Day and told her not to forget about him.

A tearful Baty said she had no indication he was planning anything.

She describes Kazmierczak as a nice and caring person who “was anything but a monster.”

The day of the shooting or the day after, Baty received two packages from Kazmierczak. One contained two textbooks, a cell phone and what she characterized as a “goodbye note.”

The note, according to CNN footage, reads, “You are the best, Jessica! You’ve done so much for me, and I truly do love you. You will make an excellent psychologist or social worker someday! Don’t forget about me!”

It is signed, “Love, Steven Kazmierczak.”

The other package had a gun holster and ammunition.

She confirmed that he’d stopped taking an anti-depressant because it made him “feel like a zombie.”  

Meanwhile, on Sunday, mourners stood in the rain, staring at five white crosses on a small hill before placing flowers in the snow in front of each one.

The visitors held markers for long minutes in front of 16-foot-long remembrance boards crammed with messages, adding their own words. And a few kneeled in front of crime scene tape strung outside a Northern Illinois University lecture hall where a young man gunned down five students before turning the gun on himself.

The tragedy hung over church services throughout the region.

At First Baptist Church in DeKalb, members pinned on red ribbons for a morning service.

The Reverend Joe Sanders prayed for the NIU community and the victims’ families and asked God to help the gunman’s family cope with the attack and their own grief of losing a son.

Then, on Monday, hundreds gathered to mourn one of the suburban Chicago victims of the Northern Illinois University shootings who is being called “a daughter of Cicero,” her hometown.

Pink ribbons, ties, hairbands and roses are plentiful at the funeral of Catalina Garcia, the first of five students to be laid to rest after last week’s shooting rampage.

Garcia lay in a pale pink coffin, dressed in a pink ball gown with a tiara in her hair. Her favorite color was pink.

The sophomore was studying to be a teacher. City officials say she represented the dream of many in the heavily Hispanic suburb west of Chicago.

Families at the Spanish mass at Our Lady of the Mount Church say Garcia was wise beyond her 20 years.

University President John Peters says Garcia accomplished much and brought happiness to many.