CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — An apparent shooting at the University of North Carolina flagship campus on Monday led to a school-wide alert warning of an “armed, dangerous person on or near campus” and urging people to go inside and avoid windows.
Authorities didn’t provide details of the alleged shooting on the Chapel Hill campus, including whether anyone had been shot. But Gov. Roy Cooper posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he had spoken to the Orange County sheriff and the state’s public safety secretary and “pledged all state resources needed to capture the shooter and protect the UNC campus.”
Cooper didn’t provide further information. School officials said as soon as they had verified information, they would share it. They didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking further details.
The school’s first alert was sent out just after 1 p.m. At 1:50 p.m., officials posted on X that the shelter-in-place order remained in effect and that it was “an ongoing situation.” About 40 minutes later, the school added a post saying: “Remain sheltered in place. This is an ongoing situation. Suspect at large.”
About two hours after the first alert went out, officers were still arriving in droves, with about 30 police vehicles at the scene and multiple helicopters circling over the school, where the fall semester started last week.
An officer admonished two people who tried to exit the student center, yelling “Inside, now!”
About 10 minutes later, law enforcement escorted a group of students out of one of the science buildings, with everyone walking in an orderly line with their hands up.
A student told TV station WTVD that she had barricaded her dormitory door with her furniture. Another student, speaking softly, described hiding in fear with others in a dark bathroom.
The report of the shooting and subsequent lockdown paralyzed campus and parts of the surrounding town of Chapel Hill a week after classes began at the state’s flagship public university. The university has approximately 20,000 undergraduate students and 12,000 graduate students.
Nearby Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools posted on social media that all doors would be locked at its schools and offices until authorities say it’s safe.
Associated Press writers Sarah Brumfield in Silver Spring, Maryland, and Sarah Rankin in Richmond, Virginia, contributed to this report.