The Chapel Hill campus of the school went into lockdown on Monday afternoon after issuing a warning about a potentially armed and dangerous individual. Subsequently, law enforcement apprehended a suspect.
In an unfortunate incident at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, on Monday, a faculty member was fatally shot in a laboratory. This event led to a campus-wide lockdown that lasted for several hours. During this time, students took shelter in various locations such as classrooms, dormitories, and bathrooms.
At a press conference held on Monday evening, Brian James, the Chief of U.N.C. Police, informed that a suspect had been taken into custody at 2:31 p.m. The police had received a 911 call reporting shots fired at Caudill Labs, a science building on campus. The suspect’s identity was not revealed, as formal charges had not yet been filed.
The identity of the deceased faculty member was not disclosed by Chief James and Kevin M. Guskiewicz, the Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They mentioned that the family of the deceased was still in the process of being notified. The police are currently investigating the incident to determine a motive and recover the weapon used. Chief James refrained from discussing any potential connection between the assailant and the faculty member.
Chief James expressed the desire to understand the underlying reasons for the incident. Chancellor Guskiewicz conveyed his sorrow for the tragedy, emphasizing the damage caused to the campus community’s trust and safety. He pledged efforts to restore this sense of security.
The incident shattered the peaceful atmosphere on campus, which had resumed classes after a summer break on August 21. Following the report of gunfire at Caudill Labs, the university issued an alert advising people to stay indoors and away from windows due to the presence of an armed and dangerous individual.
Almost 90 minutes later, another alert was issued, maintaining the shelter-in-place order and notifying that the suspect was still at large. Students and staff took precautions, such as barricading doors and staying hidden, as they awaited further information.
The lockdown was lifted at 4:14 p.m., with Chief James clarifying that the campus remained under lockdown during the suspect’s apprehension. This was done as investigators verified the suspect’s identity and searched for the firearm used in the shooting. Reports of additional victims were investigated but not confirmed.
Classes on Monday and Tuesday were canceled following the shooting. Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina expressed his commitment to support the situation, providing state resources for the capture of the shooter and campus protection. The governor recognized the tragedy as a somber beginning to the new semester.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, a local school district, announced that classroom activities could proceed normally, but schools were placed in a “secure mode.” This mode involved locked doors and restricted entry and exit from school buildings.