Video: Student: 'He just started shooting'

NBC News and msnbc.com
updated 2/14/2008 6:32:11 PM ET 2008-02-14T23:32:11

The university in Illinois where a gunman went on a rampage against students before killing himself Thursday had been the subject of at least one previous threat.

In early December, newspapers reported that the main campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb was closed for a day partly because of threats scrawled in a bathroom.

The Chicago Sun-Times and the DeKalb Daily Chronicle said graffiti found in a bathroom Dec. 8 in the Grant Towers D complex residence hall included a racial slur and a reference to the Virginia Tech shootings, in which 33 students were killed in April.

The newspapers cited information released by the university.

The black ink on the stall read, "Tell those n------ to go home," and "ME/OUT … Die Sem Burr 10th … Hmz Sdn Cr," which officials reportedly believed was a reference to Dec. 10 and "Holmes Student Center."

A second set of comments reportedly said: “What time? The VA tech shooters messed up with having only one shooter.”

Students, faculty and staff were notified through e-mail, the campus Web site and fliers. The school closed Dec. 10 and had to reschedule final exams set for that day. The university also cited bad weather as a reason for closing the campus.

The university's main campus is in DeKalb, a city of 40,000 nestled amid farmland about 65 miles west of downtown Chicago. The university has more than 25,000 students, according to its Web site.

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