25 years after the University of Iowa's tragedy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

25 years after the University of Iowa's tragedy

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Twenty-five years ago on November 1, 1991, a tragedy unfolded on the University of Iowa campus.

Five people were fatally shot including Physics Department Chair Dwight Nicholson, and Professors Chris Goertz and Robert Smith and Administrator T. Anne Cleary.

Student Linhau Shan was also fatally gunned down, while another was seriously wounded.

The shootings took place at Van Allen Hall and Jessup Hall on campus.

Twenty-five years later the shooting is still a scar on Iowa's Physics and Astronomy Department, one that will never fully heal.

Tuesday, in the shadow of Jessup Hall, where Iowa's tragedy ended, dozens gathered to remember.

Among the crowd, a man who lived through the horror of that day.

"No you didn't. You heard some noises and somebody would run down the hall saying, 'Somebody has been shot.' Then somebody else ran and said, 'There were shots upstairs.' It was a lot of chaos. Nobody knew what was going on," said Professor of Physics Wayne Polyzou.

The shooting started at Van Allen Hall, home to the Physics Department. The shooter Gang Lu was a graduate student from China, who targeted department heads and others he believed were responsible for passing him over for an academic award.

Four shining stars in the Physics and Astronomy Department are now memorialized in Van Allen room 208, where at least one lost their life.

"It was just so far out of what you think of as normal. My memories, most of them are black and white, but that one is technicolored. It is very vivid. I can remember almost everything; the weather, seeing the people. It was just this very really kind of surreal thing," said Polyzou.

But the story doesn't end there. Shooter Gang Lu continued to Jessup Hall taking the life of another staff member and paralyzing a student before taking his own life.

Now, 25 years later, for the first time, all six victims will be memorialized together in a plaque under the shade of Old Capitol.

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