The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been given the “all clear” to resume normal operations after a lockdown was imposed due to reports of an “armed and dangerous” individual on or near campus. The university urged people to stay away from Caudill Labs while the UNC Police conducted an investigation. All classes and events for the day were canceled as a precautionary measure.
UNC-Chapel Hill Police released a photo of a possible suspect and advised the public to maintain a safe distance, prioritize their safety, and contact 911 if they spotted the individual. Reports emerged of a gunshot fired and one person sustaining a gunshot wound in Caudill Labs on South Road. Despite initial reports of a suspect being in custody, Alert Carolina confirmed that the suspect was still at large.
Videos shared on social media depicted a significant police presence at the scene, with officers responding swiftly and a helicopter hovering over the campus. People were seen fleeing from the buildings. The UNC health system stated that no patients had been received in relation to the active shooter situation. UNC hospitals in Chapel Hill were also on lockdown but later resumed normal operations. Outpatient clinics on the UNC campus remained closed for the rest of the day.
The initial lockdown alert was issued by Alert Carolina, urging students, staff, and faculty to shelter in place. A subsequent update reiterated the need to stay off campus and remain in place. Beth Morocco, a public health professor, expressed her distress, stating that such an event was particularly devastating during a time of the school year that’s typically filled with energy and enthusiasm.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper assured the UNC community that all necessary state resources would be deployed to capture the shooter and protect the campus. Cooper, an alumnus of UNC, acknowledged the tragic start to the new semester and pledged assistance to the university. Chapel Hill transit buses ceased operations, and the area near the bell tower on campus was closed off.