A suspect is in custody after shots were fired near the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Monday, prompting the university to go on lockdown. One faculty member was killed in the shooting, while officials searched for an “armed and dangerous person.” The suspect was captured about an hour and a half after the shooting at Caudill Laboratories, and an all-clear was issued for the campus about two hours after that. Tuesday’s classes have been canceled.
UNC students were first alerted to an armed and dangerous person on or near campus shortly after 1 p.m; and the university issued an alert to remain sheltered in place because a suspect was at large by 2:24 p.m. Campus police released a photo of an unnamed person of interest at 2:35 p.m. with the warning: “If you see this person, keep your distance, put your safety first and call 911.”
School officials said at a briefing Monday afternoon that no other injuries were reported. UNC Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz said in a letter to the university community: “I am devastated and saddened by today’s shooting in one of our campus buildings, a place where we conduct our important work of teaching, mentoring and research every day. This shooting damages the trust and safety that we so often take for granted on our campus. We will work to rebuild that trust and safety.”
UNC Police Chief Brian James said the FBI has joined the investigation into the shooting: “We certainly want the opportunity to interview the suspect. To actually have the suspect in custody gives us an opportunity to figure out the why. And even the how, and also helps us to uncover a motive and … really just why this happened today.” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement that officials “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.”
As of press time, the faculty member was not publicly identified, and officials did not name the suspect. University police have not determined the relationship between the victim and gunman or indicated any kind of possible motive.
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