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Girlfriend: NIU gunman called to say goodbye

NIU Shooting
In this image made from TV and provided by CNN, Jessica Baty, former girlfriend of NIU shooter Steven Kazmierczak, talks to CNN on Sunday in Wonderlake, Ill.AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

The girlfriend of the man who killed five people and himself at Northern Illinois University said Sunday that he called her early on Valentine's Day, the day of the shooting, to say goodbye.

Steven Kazmierczak "called me at midnight and told me not to forget about him," Jessica Baty, 28, told CNN from her home. She said she had no indication he was planning anything.

Investigators still haven't determined why Kazmierczak, 27, opened fire in a lecture hall at his and Baty's alma mater, and she shed no light on a motive Sunday.

"The person I knew was not the one who went into Cole Hall and did that," Baty told CNN. "He was anything but a monster. He was probably the ... nicest, (most) caring person ever."

The day of the shooting or the day after, Baty received a package from Kazmierczak containing two textbooks, a cell phone and what she characterized as a "goodbye note."

"You've done so much for me," the note said, according to Baty. "You will make an excellent psychologist and social worker someday."

Another package contained a gun holster and ammunition. She confirmed that he had stopped taking an antidepressant about three weeks ago because "it made him feel like a zombie," but she denied that his recent behavior was unusual.

"He wasn't erratic. He wasn't delusional. He was Steve; he was normal," Baty said.

An NIU professor who befriended both Kazmierczak and Baty during their years on campus told The Associated Press earlier Sunday that she was upset by media reports of their relationship as rocky and abusive.

Jim Thomas, an emeritus professor of sociology and criminology at NIU, said Baty feels she and Kazmierczak were a typical young couple.

"They were two people in love with all the pains, joys, squabbles, ups/downs of any other relationship," Thomas said.