After reports of a shooting on campus shortly after 1 pm, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been placed under lockdown.
The school issued an alert shortly after 1 pm, stating, “Emergency – Armed and dangerous person near or on campus.” Go inside now; avoid windows.”
A local NBC reported that there were a large number of emergency vehicles and police near the Caudill Laboratories building on South Road.
UNC Police had earlier reported that a suspect in custody. However, at 2:35 pm, they released an image showing an Asian man wearing a gray shirt, who was identified by UNC Police as a person-of-interest.
This photo depicts a person who is of interest to the current armed and dangerous persons situation. The post said that if you see the person, to keep your distance and put your safety before anything else, call 911.
The police ask that anyone who witnesses the suspect to call 911 and put their own safety first.
Alert Carolina sent out a message shortly before 2:30 pm saying that the suspect was still at large.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools announced on Facebook that staff and students will remain indoors as a precaution until officials receive a “all clear” from the authorities.
The district announced that dismissal will be delayed significantly today for planning purposes. Once the all clear is given, we will begin dismissing students in the normal order. Elementary students will be dismissed first, followed closely by middle and high school. We don’t know yet what time will be deemed safe to dismiss staff and students during this ongoing crisis.”
The Daily Tar Heel (a student-run newspaper at UNC) reported that a lane on Interstate 40 was closed and certain campus buildings were being evacuated.
North Carolina Gov. Alumnus Roy Cooper issued a press release on the situation shortly before 3 pm.
Cooper said, “I spoke with Orange County Sheriff Blackwood as well as Department of Public Safety Secretary Buffaloe and pledged all state resources needed to capture the shooter and protect the UNC campus.” Cooper stated that the state has pledged to use all resources necessary to find the shooter, and secure the UNC campus. My office is in contact with officials and law enforcement at UNC Chapel Hill, who are taking steps to ensure campus safety after today’s shooting. The shooting is a terrible way to begin a new academic year. The state will offer any support necessary to the UNC community.
The campus covers approximately 729 acres, and it has over 31,000 students.
In 2019, UNC made headlines across the country when two students died and four were injured in a classroom after an ex-student opened fire.
In 2018, hundreds climbed the Confederate statue known as Silent Sam at UNC Chapel Hill. And in 2006, an ex-student plowed his SUV into a popular gathering place for students on campus, to allegedly avenge Muslim deaths worldwide. The incident resulted in nine students being injured, and the suspect received a sentence of 33 years behind bars.
This is an urgent story. Updates will be posted.