After being placed on lockdown for more than two hours due to reports of shots fired on campus, the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill was given the all-clear to resume regular operations after a suspect was apprehended for fatally shooting a faculty member.
Shortly after 1 p.m., the school sent out an alert saying, “Emergency: Armed, dangerous person on or near campus. Go inside now; avoid windows.”
The Caudill Labs building on South Road was reportedly surrounded by a substantial police and emergency vehicle presence, according to a local NBC station.
A person of interest, an Asian male wearing a grey shirt, was recognised by UNC Police at 2:35 p.m. despite earlier rumours that a suspect was in custody.
“This photo shows a person of interest in today’s armed and dangerous person situation. If you see this person, keep your distance, put your safety first and call 911,” the post read.
Anyone who sees the person of interest is urged to stay away, prioritise their safety, and dial 911.
Just before 2:30 p.m., Alert Carolina released a notification stating that the suspect is still on the loose.
All courses and UNC events were postponed until 3:15 p.m., according to a warning that was sent out.
Then, at 4:14 p.m., police declared everything safe.
“All clear. All clear,” a post on X from UNC Police read. “Resume normal activities.”
Another message from UNC Police recommended people avoid Caudil Labs and reported that the Shelter in Place order had been withdrawn.
The culprit had been captured by authorities, according to UNC Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz, who announced this during a press conference on Monday night.
Guskiewicz added that a faculty member had been murdered.
“I am grieved to report that one of our faculty members was killed in this shooting,” the chancellor said in a campus-wide message. “We are waiting for confirmation that the next of kin has been contacted before we share more information.”
Police did not reveal the shooter’s or the victim’s names at the press conference.
According to UNC Police Chief Brian James, a 911 report about gunfire near the Caudill Laboratories on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus came in at 1:02 p.m. According to James, the suspect was taken into custody around 2:31.
James said that because police had to confirm the suspect’s identity, the lockdown was not released for over an hour and 45 minutes after the suspect was taken into custody.
He added that no one has yet found the gun that was used in the incident.
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools announced on Facebook that as a safety precaution, students and staff will remain inside until school administrators get an “all clear” notice from authorities.
“For planning purposes, this means dismissal at all levels of school will be significantly delayed today,” the district said. “Once the ‘all clear’ is given, we’ll begin dismissing in the usual order, with elementary students first, followed by middle schools and high schools. We do not yet know what time it will be considered safe to dismiss students and staff during this ongoing situation.”
An unnamed student told Fox News Digital that they were in the Genome Science building, directly across from the Chemistry Lab, when a “big notification” appeared on their screen that said, “ARMED AND DANGEROUS PERSON ON CAMPUS.”
“I rushed outside assuming that would be the best location since they would most likely target larger crowds since I was in a large lecture of maybe 250–300 people,” the student said. “Once I went outside, I saw people running in the direction of the Genome Science building. I decided to take the corner and investigate to see what was going on.
“That’s when I saw cops engage their slides on their AR-15s,” the student added. “I heard one large bang but nothing other than that. I stayed around the area and saw people running out of the Chem lab. Which was when I started videotaping around the area.”
The student added that the atmosphere on campus is, in a word, “disturbed.”
“One of my friends worked with him in the chemistry lab. However, he graduated this past year and was not [there]. Overall, it was extremely unexpected. I would always see stuff in the news but never expected to see things like this in person first-hand taking place,” the student added.
Laron Dowdell, 33, a master’s student at nearby Duke University, claimed he heard an announcement stating that there was an active shooter while living in Chapel Hill, which is next to the UNC campus.
“I heard a loud siren that I’ve not heard before, and then I heard the announcement from the loudspeaker telling everyone to go inside,” he told Fox News Digital.
After this weekend’s shooting of three Black persons in Jacksonville, Florida, which investigators claim was motivated by racism, he claimed he was initially terrified.
“I was honestly at first a little afraid because I didn’t know what the agenda of the shooter was,” Dowdell said. “I’m a minority, a Black male, knowing about the shooting in Jacksonville (Florida), it kind of really frightened me.”
It was reported by a father who had dropped off his freshman daughter at school two weeks ago but preferred to remain anonymous that she spent two hours texting while locked in her room in her closet.
“So much texting, FB threads, and news reports going on,” the father said. “Someone said the shooter was in her dorm hall, but can’t confirm. She said she heard shots but just didn’t know. We feel helpless.”
The man’s daughter started school for the first time today.
“The school did not text our daughter at all, except the Carolina Ready alerts, which is an app,” he said.
Just before three o’clock, alumnus and governor of North Carolina Roy Cooper released a comment on the situation.
“I have spoken with Orange County Sheriff Blackwood and Dept. of Public Safety Secretary Buffaloe and pledged all state resources needed to capture the shooter and protect the UNC campus,” Cooper said. “My office is in communication with law enforcement and officials at UNC-Chapel Hill who are taking precautions to protect campus safety following today’s shooting. This is a tragic way to start a new semester and the state will provide any assistance necessary to support the UNC community.”
Over 31,000 students attend the 729-acre campus, which has a student body.
When a former student opened fire inside a UNC-Charlotte classroom in 2019, two students were killed and four others were hurt, making national attention for the university.
In order to reportedly avenge the deaths of Muslims worldwide, hundreds of students scaled the Silent Sam Confederate monument at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2018. In 2006, a former student crashed an SUV into a well-liked student hangout on campus. In the incident, nine pupils suffered injuries, and the defendant received a 33-year prison term.
After the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in college admissions, UNC declared in June that it will no longer consider race when making admissions and hiring choices.