A campus shooting Tuesday at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte has left two people dead and four others injured.
The shooter was identified as Trystan Andrew Terrell, a 22-year-old former UNCC history student. He is in custody and has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, four counts of attempted murder, four counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, possession of a firearm and discharging a firearm on an educational property.
He is being held without bail. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance at 1 pm on Thursday, May 2nd.
When the initial reports of a shooting came in, officers were nearby on campus preparing for a concert at the school’s Jerry Richardson Stadium. According to university police Chief Jeffrey A. Baker, “one officer immediately went to the suspect to take him down.”
That officer went to the room where Terrell opened fire, disarmed him and took him into custody, according to Baker. At the time of his arrest, the suspect was armed with a pistol. Officials would not comment about reports that the suspect had run out of ammunition.
The UNCC Office of Emergency Management’s Twitter account urged people to “Run, Hide, Fight. Secure yourself immediately.” University officials also sent an alert asking students to follow officers’ instructions, and warning others to stay away from campus until receiving an all-clear.
The shooting occurred in a Liberal Studies class being held on the second floor of the Kennedy Building. Students were giving presentations.
Tristan Field was a student in the class. “The shooter at UNCC didn’t say anything. He just started shooting during our final presentations and we all ran out, ” Field tweeted. “We Why here? Why today? Why UNC Charlotte? Why my classroom? What did we do?”
Riley Howell, a 21-year-old student who was in the class when the shooting began, jumped toward Terrell to stop him. He was fatally shot while attempting to physically confront and stop the shooter.
University Chancellor Philip Dubois has called it “the saddest day” in UNCC’s history.
Governor Roy Cooper told reporters, “A student should not have to fear for his or her life when they are on our campuses. parents should not have to worry about their students when they send them off to school. And I know that this violence has to stop.”
Former US Rep. Gabby Giffords tweeted, “I am so sorry for these young people and their families. We fail as a nation when we fail to protect our children. You deserve better.”
As Police took Terrell away in handcuffs, he tilted his head back and smiled at the cameras. Local stations aired footage of Terrell being brought in by Charlotte Mecklenburg Police. He was seen grinning and yelling, “I shot them,” at the assembled media.
The motive for this attack has not yet been made public.