Gunman's girlfriend: 'He was having a hard time'

February 19, 2008 1:41:42 PM PST
Steven Kazmierczak's girlfriend told CNN that the person she knew was not the one that committed the campus shootings.Even as Steven Kazmierczak was collecting the guns that he would use at NIU and plotting his final, violent moves, he was also doing his homework to the end of the term at University of Illinois and setting his sights on law school once he picked up his master's degree. Those are some of the inconsistencies that the gunman's girlfriend is struggling to understand.

"He would never lie to me," Jessica Baty, 28, said. "I can't believe he didn't tell me or give me some indication that something was wrong. I would've helped him."

Since the shooting, Baty has retreated to her mother's home in northwest suburban Wonder Lake. She had been living with the shooter in Champaign, where the couple was enrolled in master's degree programs.

"I had no indication that he was planning something," said Baty. "I talked to him on [late] Wednesday, or Thursday, at about midnight, and he told me not to forget about him, he would see me tomorrow and he said, 'Goodbye, Jessica.' [He] usually says, 'See you later, Jessi.' I thought that was strange."

Fifteen hours later, Kazmierczak barreled into Cole Hall at Northern Illinois where he and Jessica Baty had met and began dating. Although, she has been referred to as his ex-girlfriend, there was nothing past-tense about their relationship.

"We had plans for the future," Baty said. "I feel lonely like this big, huge part of me is just gone."

Baty admits knowing about Kazmierczak's psychiatric history; that he was under the care of a psychiatrist and was supposed to be taking the anti-depressant drug Prozac.

"He said he had some obsessive compulsive tendencies, and it would also help with his anxiety, which it did," the girlfriend said.

She knew he had recently stopped taking Prozac and that he had purchased several guns.

"I knew about the shotgun and one of the handguns. The other ones, he bought while I was at work. He said he wanted them for home protection," said Baty.

February 14, he used the guns as offensive weapons.

Several packages that Kazmierczak sent to Baty arrived since the assault at NIU. They contained books, a cell phone she wanted, some cash and other things that make her now realize that her boyfriend had been unraveling right before her eyes.

"He was having such a hard time. He should have told me. I would have helped," Baty said.