CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WGHP) — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill went into lockdown Wednesday after an “armed and dangerous person” was reported “on or near” campus. As of 2:10 p.m., UNC Police report the university is “all clear.”
Chapel Hill police say Mickel Deonte Harris, 27, of Durham, has been arrested, according to WNCN. Harris was reportedly wanted in connection to a Sept. 5 assault.
In a statement, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said the situation began with reports that a person had brandished a weapon at the Student Union. No shots were fired.
“The situation was related to a personnel matter for one of our auxiliary units,” Guskiewicz said.
UNC Chapel Hill canceled classes for Wednesday. The university is closed until 5 p.m. and will be under suspended operations until midnight. Classes will resume on Thursday.
“I am grateful to our UNC Police and Emergency Operations team for managing this situation quickly and efficiently,” Guskiewicz said. “Thank you to our faculty, staff and students for their cooperation and patience as we continue to strive to keep our community safe.”
Gov. Roy Cooper responded to the lockdown, writing, “It’s a tough look to see a second lockdown only a day after some Republican leaders mocked UNC students who were protesting at the legislature demanding action on common sense gun reform. Instead of turning your backs, how about actually listening to them?”
Cooper’s statement appears to reference North Carolina State House Speaker Tim Moore’s response to a student protest at the state legislature on Tuesday. UNC Chapel Hill students involved with the gun control advocacy group March for Our Lives protested at the North Carolina Legislature, chanting “Vote them out.” As they were escorted out of the chambers, House Speaker Tim Moore said, “This isn’t a pep rally. This is the House of Representatives,” according to the News & Observer.
Below is the full advisory issued by Alert Carolina.
Students, Faculty, and Staff:
Retroactive to 1 p.m., UNC-Chapel Hill is operating at a Condition 3 status and will remain so until 5 p.m. today. From 5:01 p.m. until 11:59 p.m. today, the University will operate at a Condition 2 status. Classes are canceled for the rest of today, and non-mandatory operations are suspended. Employees are not required to work or use paid leave under Condition 3 unless otherwise informed by their supervisor.
More information and details about condition types can be found on the Adverse Weather & Emergency Closing webpage.
UNC-Chapel Hill has resources available for students, faculty and staff. Your mental health and well-being are paramount, and there are resources available to support you now and in the days ahead.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available to any students who need to speak with a mental health provider. CAPS can be reached via 919-966-3658 or email@example.com.
CAPS is available until 6 p.m. today in the Campus Health building to provide support to students who witnessed or were impacted by today’s incident. After 6 p.m. today, students can call 919-966-3658 to speak to a mental health professional.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) support is available online through GuidanceConnect. Log on to guidanceresources.com with a username and password or register with Web ID: TARHEELS. You may also call 877-314-5841 to make an appointment with a counselor. Support is free and confidential.
For updates, visit alertcarolina.unc.edu.
At 12:54 p.m. on Wednesday, UNC issued the “Alert Carolina” telling the campus community to “go inside now” and “avoid windows.” At 1:54 p.m., a new alert directed the campus community to “silence your phones.”
“Stay close to your phone and email for updates as we monitor this new and ongoing situation,” CHCCS Chief Communications Officer Andy Jenks said in a statement.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools entered a “secure mode” lockdown, according to an alert posted on the school district’s Facebook page. The district exited “secure mode” at 2:20 p.m. after receiving the “all clear” from authorities.
During the “secure mode” lockdown, CHCCS locked school doors and did not allow anyone to enter or leave. Classrooms continue instruction as normal.
In the wake of tragedy
The incident comes about two and a half weeks after Associate Professor Zijie Yan was shot and killed on the university’s campus on Aug. 28. Tailei Qi, 34, a student of Yan’s, was taken into custody and charged with first-degree murder and possessing a gun on educational property, according to the inmate listing provided by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.