Six dead, up to 16 injured at Northern Illinois University shooting
Rescue workers carry an unidentified victim from the scene of the shooting at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois.
Another 15 people were injured as the black-clad gunman fired two handguns and a shotgun during a science lecture, before taking his own life.
Police were at the scene within minutes, but the attacker, a former sociology student at the university, was already dead by the time they arrived.
Six students have been killed by a gunman who opened fire in a crowded lecture theatre at Northern Illinois University near Chicago in the US.
It was the fourth shooting at a US educational establishment within a week.
A crazed gunman dressed in black went on a Valentine's Day killing spree on a suburban Chicago college campus - murdering five students and wounding 16 before taking his own life.
Witnesses said the shooting at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill., occurred in a crowded lecture hall just after 3 p.m. Thursday.
The shooter, a former NIU grad student, burst through a door and began firing randomly with a short-barreled 12-gauge shotgun and two pistols, sending up to 150 geology students diving for cover, witnesses said.
Emergency officials said many of the injured students suffered head, chest and back wounds, including at least two who were in critical condition Thursday night.
University police chief Don Grady confirmed the gunman killed five students - four women and a man - before blowing himself away. College President John Peters said the shooter had been a graduate student in sociology at the school last spring, but was not currently enrolled.
Student Kevin McEnery said he was seated in the third row of room 101 in Cole Hall for Geology 104: Introduction to Ocean Sciences when the gunman kicked open a side door near the front stage and appeared from behind a black curtain.
"There was probably five minutes left in class, and he just started open firing with the shotgun," McEnery told CNN. "He just kicked the door open and just started shooting."
He said the gunman, dressed in a black shirt, dark pants and a black knit cap, never said a word as he pumped shot after shot.
McEnery said he dove on the ground and crawled against a wall as he heard his panicked classmates screaming.
"I looked up again, and he was cocking his pistol," said McEnery, adding that he heard about 30 shots. "That's when he went down the aisles and started shooting people."
The school, which has an enrollment of about 25,000 students, is about 65 miles west of Chicago.
The names of the victims were not released, but the Chicago Tribune identified the slain male student as Dan Parmenter, 20, of Elmhurst, Ill.
Witness George Gaynor described the gunman as "a skinny white guy with a stocking cap."
Grady said the killer shot himself to death on the stage of the lecture hall as cops raced to the scene. He said a motive for the shooting was not immediately known.
"Some girl got hit in the eye. A guy got hit in the leg," Gaynor told the campus newspaper Northern Star.
The shooting was the fourth at a U.S. school in seven days.
On Feb. 8, a woman gunned down two students at Louisiana Technical College in Baton Rouge. On Monday, a 17-year-old gunman opened fire at a Memphis high school, critically injuring a fellow student during gym class. A day later, a 14-year-old junior high school student shot a classmate in the head in Oxnard, Calif.