WARNING: You have reached an SSRI story in the old SSRI site. All of the previous stories and new ones are available in our new site. We have added keyword search to the new site and are in the process of applying categories to each of the previous stories. Please visit our new site at http://SSRIstories.org.


Summary:

Fifth paragraph from the end reads:  "Baty said he saw a psychiatrist monthly but stopped taking Prozac a few weeks ago. She said the medicine "made him feel like a zombie."


http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/799650,CST-NWS-NIU18.article



Ex: Campus killer called to say bye prior to shooting

NIU MASSACRE | Says he was a 'worrier' who spent time in a group home

February 18, 2008
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN, LISA DONOVAN AND MITCH DUDEK Staff Reporters

Hours before he walked into a Northern Illinois University lecture hall and inexplicably started a shooting rampage that ended five lives and his own, Steve Kazmierczak called one of the people he was closest to and said what would be a final goodbye.

That's what the gunman's girlfriend of two years, Jessica Baty, recalled Sunday in an interview with CNN.
"He called me at midnight and told me not to forget about him," she told CNN.

Then Kazmierczak told her, "Goodbye, Jessica," Baty said in the interview. "He never said, 'Goodbye, Jessica,' he always said, you know, 'See you later, Jessie.' I just thought that was strange."

The two University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign graduate students, described by CNN as having an on-again, off-again relationship, lived together in a Champaign apartment. That's where, she said, Kazmierczak kept two guns locked up -- apparently for protection, said CNN.com.

Baty says he didn't do or say anything in his last days or even during their last conversation early St. Valentine's Day that provided any clues about what would unfold hours later, according to the CNN report.

Baty said she thought authorities had "the wrong person" when her boyfriend was fingered. She added, "He's not in DeKalb."

But, in fact, he had returned to his and Baty's graduate school alma mater, the NIU campus in DeKalb.

Just after 3 p.m. Thursday, Kazmierczak -- clad in black and carrying a guitar case with a shotgun inside along with three guns tucked into a belt -- burst into Cole Hall as a geology lecture was winding down.

He opened fire, and by the time it was over, five people were dead and 20 were wounded. Kazmierczak then shot himself to death on the lecture hall stage.

Baty says that's not the 27-year-old Steve Kazmierczak she knew.

Wearing an orange University of Illinois sweat shirt, Baty briefly stepped out from her mother's home in Wonder Lake, Ill., about 70 miles northwest of Chicago, to address reporters there.

"You're presenting him like a monster, and he wasn't," said Baty, before retreating indoors.

Her family put a sign in the yard saying, "Our thoughts, prayers go out to all the victims of the NIU incident. Please respect our privacy as we need to grieve and mourn this tragic loss of so many lives."
Stopped taking Prozac

In an emotional interview on CNN, in which Baty wiped tears from her eyes -- a peace ring visible on one of her fingers -- she said she was baffled about Kazmierczak's actions.

"He was anything but a monster. He was probably the nicest, most caring person ever."

She went on to say "he was a worrier" and that Kazmierczak told her he had "obsessive-compulsive tendencies" and that his parents committed him as a teen to a group home because he was "unruly" and used to cut himself.

Baty said he saw a psychiatrist monthly but stopped taking Prozac a few weeks ago. She said the medicine "made him feel like a zombie."

But Baty said that recently he was "a little quicker to get annoyed."

"He wasn't erratic," she said. "He wasn't delusional."

Since the shooting, she has received several packages, apparently from Kazmierczak, including a textbook about serial killers, a gun holster and ammunition, items that puzzled her. She said she also received a "goodbye" note.

The note included: "You are the best Jessica! You've done so much for me, and I truly do love you."

Contributing: Frank Main

WARNING: You have reached an SSRI story in the old SSRI site. All of the previous stories and new ones are available in our new site. We have added keyword search to the new site and are in the process of applying categories to each of the previous stories. Please visit our new site at http://SSRIstories.org.