By John Gress

Feb 14, Reuters

DEKALB, Illinois - A man opened fire in a crowded lecture hall at Northern Illinois University on Thursday, killing four people and wounding a number of others before killing himself, media reports and authorities said.

Police on the 25,000-student college 65 miles west of Chicago said the gunman was a student from another college but they did not publicly identify him.

They said he killed himself on the same classroom stage from where he began shooting near the end of a mid-afternoon lecture on ocean science and that he had three guns.

The Chicago Tribune and other media reported that four of the 18 or more people wounded had died but the university did not confirm that.

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photo: Police stand watch outside the scene of a shooting at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois February 14, 2008 (REUTERS/John Gress)