The report we present today represents countless hours of painstaking effort by members of the Northern Illinois University community.
Within its pages we offer our analysis, combined with that of other agencies, detailing our response to the tragedy of Feb. 14, 2008, when five extraordinary lives were cut short in Cole Hall, and 21 students were wounded. This report compelled us to dissect the most tragic hours that this campus has ever endured and relive events that remain all too vivid in our memories.
Despite and amidst personal grief that is still raw for many in our NIU community, we worked steadfastly to write this report; endeavoring in the hope that others may learn from our experiences, just as we learned from information shared by Virginia Tech following the shootings there in 2007. No institution can ever be completely prepared for such a horrible event, but hopefully by sharing our experience others may better prepare and respond to the needs of their campus communities during times of tragedy.