tragic incident unfolded on Monday afternoon at the Chapel Hill campus of the University of North Carolina, resulting in the loss of a valued faculty member. The campus was plunged into a state of emergency when an unidentified assailant opened fire near Caudill Laboratories, prompting an immediate lockdown that lasted for three tense hours.
The shelter-in-place order was issued at approximately 1:02 p.m. in response to multiple reports of gunshots echoing through the vicinity of Caudill Laboratories. Law enforcement swiftly mobilized in response to this grave situation.
Authorities managed to apprehend a suspect at approximately 2:38 p.m., and around 4:14 p.m., the police granted the all-clear signal, officially concluding the lockdown. However, the cautionary advice was issued for individuals to avoid Caudill Labs indefinitely, as investigators continued their search for crucial evidence.
UNC Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz, addressing the tragedy during a press conference later that evening, confirmed the heartbreaking news of the faculty member’s demise. Out of respect for the victim’s family, the university refrained from immediately disclosing the victim’s identity.
Guskiewicz expressed profound grief and shock at the shooting, emphasizing the significance of the campus as a place dedicated to the vital pursuits of education, mentorship, and research. He conveyed heartfelt condolences, stating, “Our hearts are with the family of our fellow faculty member, those who are personally connected to the victim, and those traumatized by this senseless act of violence.”
In the wake of this devastating event, the university has taken the necessary step of canceling all classes and events until Wednesday, as announced by the institution.
UNC Police Chief Brian James, while addressing the media, refrained from divulging the identity of the suspect in custody, citing that formal charges had not yet been filed. He also noted that the firearm involved in the incident had not been immediately recovered, underscoring that the investigation remained ongoing. “We want to make sure we gather every piece of evidence to determine what happened and why it happened,” Chief James stated during the press conference.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper extended his condolences and pledged state resources to assist in the investigation. He expressed his deep sorrow, remarking, “This is a tragic way to start a new semester, and the state will provide any assistance necessary to support the UNC community.”
Chancellor Guskiewicz acknowledged the trauma experienced by both students and faculty and urged them to utilize the university’s available resources to cope with the aftermath of this tragic incident. He emphasized the importance of unity in the face of such events, recognizing that sadly, similar incidents have been occurring across the nation.