On Valentine's Day, Thursday, February 14, a lone gunman killed five students and wounded 21 others before turning the gun on himself in a class of about 160 in a large lecture hall.
Today CNN reported the following:
All the victims were from Illinois. The DeKalb County coroner's office identified four of them: Daniel Parmenter, 20, of Westchester; Catalina Garcia, 20, of Cicero; Ryanne Mace, 19, of Carpentersville; and Julianna Gehant, 32, of Meriden.
The fifth victim, Gayle Dubowski, 20, of Carol Stream, died at a hospital in Rockford and was identified by Winnebago County authorities.
Gayle Dubowski was a light in the campus ministry at NIU sponsored by the Chicago Church of Christ in DeKalb, about 65 miles west of downtown Chicago. She will be deeply missed. Gayle became a disciple in high school. Her parents and brother are also disciples in the Chicago Church of Christ. Joe Dubowski serves as a deacon and is on the Board of Directors of the church.
Students held a candlelight vigil last night and are preparing another even as most students left the campus. Watch students gather and pray »
This campus ministry was begun by Marty Fuqua 30 years ago before he and Chris led the planting of the Chicago Church. Chris and Megan Zillman are the current campus ministry leaders and also lead the DeKalb Ministry Center.
On a personal note, I remember Joe Dubowski's becoming a Christian as a college student and was honored to perform the wedding for him and his lovely wife, Laurel. They have been faithful, cheerful servants through many years. I remember the entire family's joy over the baptisms of their two children. Joe was one of the first editors of Disciples Today when our first website was released in 2004. They are all dearly loved.
Please continue to pray for the families of all of the victims and the gunman and all who are deeply affected by this tragedy. Pray for people to turn to God for comfort and meaning.
The shooter, Steven P. Kazmierczak, was an honored graduate of NIU and curently enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana. He had no prior problems or indications of violence. Apparently he had gone off his medication in recent days.
Click here for the latest article on the Memorial Service and links: Gayle Dubowski: making a difference
Click here for the Facebook page begun as a memorial tribute to Gayle Dubowski.
Click here for a tribute to Gayle written by her campus minister: Remembering Gayle
Click here for the latest information on the Memorial Service and the Scholarship Fund.