Faculty member shot, killed at UNC-Chapel Hill; suspect in custody

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — For more than three hours, the UNC-Chapel Hill campus was placed on a lockdown due to an active shooter situation.

University of North Carolina Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz confirmed a faculty member was shot and killed in a campus building. Their identity was not released as police are still in the process of contacting family members.

“This loss is devastating and the shooting damages the trust and safety that we so often take for granted in our campus community. We will work to rebuild that sense of trust and safety within our community,” Guskiewicz said.

Classes were cancelled for the remainder of Monday and Tuesday. Guskiewicz encouraged students to take advantage of mental health resources on campus.

“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,” Guskiewicz said.

UNC officials said the suspect was taken into custody at approximately 2:38 p.m.. UNC Chief of Police Brian James was unable to confirm the connection between the victim and suspect.

Police released a photo of a person of interest Monday afternoon, but during a press conference Monday evening, would not confirm it was the same man arrested. According to the UNC website, the suspect image matches an ID photo for a student named Tailei Qi.

Tailei Qi

University police were notified of shots fired in Caudill Laboratories at 131 South Road around 1:02 p.m.

The initial alert, which went out at about 1 p.m. urged everyone on the school’s campus to stay inside and avoid windows. As of 4:16 p.m., the university issued an “all clear” alert to “resume normal activities.”

UNC officials added in the all-clear that everyone should “remain away from Caudill Labs while UNC Police continues to investigate.”

In the first video CBS 17 received from inside a building on UNC’s campus, law enforcement officers can be seen in a hallway within Caudill Labs. The officers are seen walking through with guns raised and wearing bullet protective vests.

Video courtesy Brendan Lynch

A massive presence of law enforcement and EMS vehicles are lining the road outside of the Genome Sciences Building and South Road is largely blocked off. At least four agencies are responding on the scene as of 2:15 p.m.

Chapel Hill area buses were on hold due to the incident, according to a tweet sent by Chapel Hill Transit. Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools were also under a “Secure Mode” across all campuses and offices, according to an update posted on their Facebook page.

As of 3:40 p.m., Chapel Hill school officials received an “all clear” from authorities and will begin their dismissal process for elementary and middle schools.

Just after 4 p.m., UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill issued an all-clear, which lifted their lockdown and resumed normal operations.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol has their helicopter in the air to help in the search for armed the suspect.

UNC-Chapel Hill said in an update for people to stay sheltered in place and that all classes and events are canceled for the remainder of the day.

Governor Roy Cooper said via Twitter/X that he spoke with the Orange County Sheriff Blackwood and Dept. of Public Safety Secretary Buffaloe and “pledged all state resources needed to capture the shooter and protect the UNC campus.”

Gov. Cooper also added that his office is in communication with law enforcement and officials at UNC. He went on to say that this is a “tragic way to start a new semester” and that the state will provide any needed assistance in this incident.

CBS 17 has multiple crews on campus working to find out more.

This is an ongoing incident check back with CBS 17 for more information.

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