CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Wednesday is supposed to be Reading Day on the campus of UNC Charlotte, a day students can study and prepare for their final exams. Instead students spent the day on campus collecting belongings they left behind while evacuating buildings and trying to process what happened.
Joshua Ayers said he was one of the students inside an introductory Anthropology class in Kennedy Hall where the shooting occurred.
There were only about 30 students in the class Tuesday evening for presentations, he said. The first presentation had just started when chaos erupted.
"The north door of the room got kicked in. This guy wearing dark-ish clothes, to my knowledge, came in and started shooting," Ayers said.
Charlotte-Mecklenberg police say 22-year-old Trystan Terrell opened fire on the UNC Charlotte class, killing two people and injuring four others.
"Pulled up his gun, fired one shot, waiting another half a second, fired one or two more, and then I think about a half a second later, four more," Ayers described.
There were terrifying moments as the few dozen students inside the class ran for their own safety.
Simon Buser was at the library next door to the Kennedy Building when he started seeing people panic.
"Around 5:50 or whenever it started happening we just saw people running in our direction. We tried to grab a hold of someone and figure out what was going on. Finally I grabbed someone and asked what was happening and he just said, 'Shooter, shooter, shooter,'" the UNC Charlotte junior said.
Buser says he has taken two active shooter training classes with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. That training kicked in.
"We grabbed all of our stuff, went into a backroom, grabbed everyone and went inside, locked the doors, barricaded it. Closed the blinds and everything, then we just waited for CMPD to come and get us out," he recalled.