Kazmierczak's interests are listed as corrections, political violence and peace and social justice, according to the essay, and he had plans to co-author a manuscript on the role of religion in the formation of early prisons.
In another biography, apparently written by Kazmierczak for the Academic Criminal Justice Association's Web site, he pledged his commitment to social justice and his academic work.
"I've worked very hard as a student," the entry reads.
Kazmierczak worked as the Pirates Cove Children's Theme Park in his hometown in 1995, according to the park's director. He had an acceptable employee record.
On a music site message board from 2006, posters who claimed to be his co-workers wrote, "I remember Steve Kazmierczak … the kind of person who injured kids on the train ride cuz he was mental and he shouldn't be given domain over kids on little faux-traincars with an aluminum baseball bat … "
Originally from Champaign, Ill., Kazmierczak had been a student at NIU in the spring of 2007, where he had majored in sociology. He had been studying at the University of Illinois - Campaign most recently, according to NIU school officials.
Grady said that those who knew him "revered him as an outstanding student" and had no inclination that Kazmierczak was capable of such carnage.
But law enforcement authorities told ABC News that Kazmierczak had likely planned the assault on the school for at least five days — all four guns involved in the NIU shooting were purchased legally from the same Champagne, Ill., gun dealer, ABC News has learned. The Remington shotgun and the Glock 9 mm were purchased Feb. 9, 2008. The Hi Point 380 was purchased Dec. 30, 2007 and the SIG Sauer 9 mm was purchased Aug. 6, 2007 from the same gun dealer.
Authorities were still checking where he obtained two other pistols, a 9 mm Sig Sauer and a Hi Point 380.
He brought the shotgun in a guitar case, police said, and hid the others underneath his jacket.
At approximately 3:15 p.m. Thursday, Kazmierczak — dressed in black and armed with three handguns and a shotgun — entered an introductory geology class and opened fire.
While students ran for cover and hid under their desks, Kazmierczak wounded 16 people, killed five others and then himself.
"The assailant began firing into the assembled class from the stage — from the front," NIU president John Peters told ABC News.
"It didn't seem like he was aiming. He just raised a gun and shot immediately," said Paul Sundstrom, a student who was sitting in the class with his brother Kevin when the gunman opened fire.
With additional reporting by Luis Martinez and Marcus Baram.