Twenty-seven-year-old Stephen Kazmierczak, a graduate student at the University of Illinois, returned to his undergraduate campus, Northern Illinois University, and murdered five people, wounding 16 others.
Apparently the gunman, who killed himself, went off some medication and decided to murder people. Authorities say he previously was a responsible person with no criminal record.
Now crimes like this will always take place no matter what kind of laws are on the books. We know Kazmierczak bought at least two of the weapons he used legally and then fired off 54 rounds in his rampage.
There is, however, an interesting debate about whether teachers and students who do hold gun permits should be allowed to carry on public campuses. Now right now, only Utah permits that. And 38 states have laws against it. We will debate that issue in just a moment.
But first, let's go out to Illinois, where 21-year-old Desiree Smith is lucky to be alive tonight. She's a senior at Northern Illinois and was sitting in the auditorium when the gunman appeared and starting firing. She joins us now from the campus.
Desiree, thanks very much. We know what a difficult day this is for you and for everybody out there at Northern Illinois. Pick it up when you first saw the gunman. What happened? What were you thinking? What did you do?
DESIREE SMITH, EYEWITNESS TO NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIV. SHOOTING: Well, I was sitting in class. There was about 10 minutes left to go. I was just waiting for the lecture to be over. I was taking notes. And out of the corner of my eye, I noticed there was someone else on the stage besides my professor.
So I looked up and I just saw this man standing there, dressed all in black with a black ski cap on. And he's holding a huge shotgun. And at first, for a second, I couldn't even process it. It didn't seem real, but then he lifted up the gun and shot at the direction of my teacher.
I saw the puff of smoke come out. And again, it seemed almost fake. I mean, I didn't realize a puff of smoke comes out of a gun like that. And as soon as that first shot happened, I slid out of my chair and got down on the ground. And I laid on the ground for a few seconds. And I locked eyes with this girl I could see under the seat. She was sitting on the row in front of me. And we could just feel how terrified we both were. And I could see it in her face, and I know it was showing on mine.
And then she started to move. And I realized that everyone was crawling towards the door. And so I started to crawl out of the aisle, and got as low as I could, Army crawling along with everyone else towards the door. People were pushing, grabbing onto anything they could, crawling over each other. I was crawling over people.
And then, as soon as I reached that door, I got up, and I just started to run. And the whole time while I was crawling, I could hear him just fire one shot after another. I heard seven or eight shots. It was just bam, bam, bam. I could tell he was just shooting randomly into the middle of the auditorium, where most of the people sit.
And as I was running away, it felt like it was all happening in slow motion. I didn't fell like I was running fast enough. And I could still hear in the distance the shooting and people screaming, "Keep running, keep running, he has a gun, he has a gun, somebody call 911." And I kept running until I reached a university building, got into an office, and they locked the door behind me.
O'REILLY: Did the gunman say anything while he was firing in that auditorium?
SMITH: Nothing at all. I — some people say they did see him kick open the door that led onto the stage. I didn't even notice that. He just seemed to appear out of nowhere, because I was taking notes and I looked up, and there he was.
O'REILLY: OK, so...
SMITH: And he just right away started shooting.
O'REILLY: You didn't hear him saying anything or yell anything? Did you see anybody get shot? Did you see anybody go down?
SMITH: No, I didn't see anything. Like I said, I saw him shoot at my teacher, but I didn't even look at anything else. I just got down as fast as I could.
O'REILLY: Now Desiree...
SMITH: And then there was…
O'REILLY: Are you OK, Desiree? Are you all right? Do you need anything? And can we do anything for you?
SMITH: I think I'm OK so far. This whole thing kind of comes and goes in waves. I don't know if it's fully hit me yet, because I haven't really sat down and cried a lot or anything. I just — it kind of comes and goes. I know I'll be fine, and then, the next minute, I kind of see his image again, see the image of him standing there with that gun. And I get shaken up again...
SMITH: ...and I realize how close I came to being shot to death.
O'REILLY: Now do you have counselors out there? Do you have people you can go to if you need to speak with someone?
SMITH: Yes, NIU's posted all the information on how to reach people. It's really helpful. And I know when I'll be ready to do it, I will contact someone.
SMITH: But as of right now, I'm just leaning on friends.
O'REILLY: Well, if you need anything, you let us know and we'll make it happen, whatever it is. And I want to bring you back a week from now, next Friday. And you can then — we'll talk again to see if you're OK and how this whole thing is being processed, all right?
O'REILLY: We'll see you Friday. But in the meantime, anything you and your family need, you let us know. And we really appreciate you coming on the program tonight.
SMITH: OK, thank you.
Pinheads & Patriots
Congratulations to Uno, the beagle who won the Westminster Dog Show. Uno, which means one in Spanish, wowed the judges with his personality and charm. And for that, Uno is a patriot, even though he's not a person. Beagles can be patriots, too.
From Uno we go to Ono. Confusing, but what can I say? Yoko Ono is suing hard rock singer Lennon Murphy because Miss Murphy is calling her band Lennon, which of course, is her first name, but Yoko doesn't like that because she was married to John Lennon. Now, we think Yoko Ono is a pinhead. And we know Uno would never do that.