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UI Remembers Gang Lu Anniversary

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IOWA CITY - Members of the University of Iowa paid tribute Wednesday to the people who died in a shooting rampage on campus 15 years ago. People honored the victims and also tried to make a point.

Three men who remember the Gang Lu massacre of 1991 like it was yesterday brought the deadly day to the front of other people's minds.

Former Director of the Geneva Campus Ministries Jason Chen said, "It was the bloodiest day in the entire history of the university."

In a ceremony marking the 15th anniversary of the day grad student Gang Lu lost control, the men recounted what happened. Professor emeritus of physics George Knorr said, "Someone ran toward me shouting, 'Call the police and ambulance, three people are dead.'"

Three more people would die in a span of about 10 minutes. Fifteen years later, people have not forgotten.

The main point of the memorial was to remember and honor the victims of the shootings 15 years ago, but another point was to look at the state of gun violence today.

Geography Professor Rex Honey said, "There's a lot more we can accomplish. There's a lot more we should accomplish."

Shortly after the shootings, victims' friends and family created the November First Coalition. Now known as Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence, the group has worked tirelessly including fighting to remove gun sales from classified ads.

Honey said, "Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence has got over 50 papers to change their ways of doing it."

Honey says in the last 15 years, 3,000 Iowans have died from gun shots. His group's goal is to minimize that number over the next 15 years.

The people Gang Lu killed were physics professors Christopher Goertz, Bob Smith, and Dwight Nicholson, graduate student Lin Hua Shan, and administrator T. Ann Cleary. He also critically wounded student Miya Sioson before killing himself.

Email Steve Nicoles at

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