NIU students remembered tens years after Cole Hall shooting

DEKALB, Ill. (WIFR) -- It's been ten years since five NIU students were killed in an on-campus shooting. On Wednesday students, faculty and community members continue to honor those victims.

There was a very somber mood throughout campus as hundreds of people gathered at the memorial garden outside of Cole Hall to honor and pay tribute to those five students.

Bells rang out throughout campus at 3:06 p.m., the same time shots were fired inside Cole Hall a decade ago. Families of the victims laid wreaths at each one of the memorials to honor their loved ones. Many current students say even though they didn't know the victims, they will never forget them.

“There's still just kind of a spirit that they were our classmates even. So you can definitely kind of just feel that but also a sense of unity as well I think,” said NIU junior Kelsey McIlwin.

"I think it's important to pay your respects to them, even though you don't know them, it's like you do at the same time because they went to the same school and it's just sad, and being able to pay your respects is important,” said NIU Sophomore Jemea Green.

Many students believe the five victims who lost their lives are still making an impact on the campus today by bringing the university together each year for the memorial ceremony.