Charlotte, N.C. — A vigil was scheduled for Wednesday evening at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte after two people were killed in a shooting Tuesday afternoon.
Police said two people died and three others were in critical condition after a suspect opened fire in a classroom. Another person was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The candlelight vigil is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the campus’ star quad. It is open to “students, alumni, faculty, staff and allies,” a release said.
All other campus activities are canceled.
Authorities late Tuesday night identified the shooter as 22-year-old Trystan Terrell, a history major who recently dropped out. He reportedly opened fire while students gave a presentation.
Terrell was charged with two counts of murder, four counts of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm on school property and discharging a firearm on educational property, Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office arrest records show.
WCNC, the NBC news station based in Charlotte, reported that Terrell shouted to journalists as he was brought into the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, although it was not clear what he said.
Police said Terrell was armed with a pistol and was quickly taken down by officers.
“We train for this type of incident and we were able to get to the building and one officer went immediately to the suspect to take him down,” a police spokesman said, noting the shooter was never able to leave the room where he opened fire.
Terrell’s grandfather, Paul Rold, told the Associated Press that Terrell and his father moved to Charlotte from the Dallas area about two years ago, after his mother died. Terrell never showed any interest in guns or other weapons, and the news he may have been involved in a mass shooting was stunning, said Rold, who had not heard about the Charlotte attack before being contacted by an Associated Press reporter.
“You’re describing someone foreign to me,” Rold said in a telephone interview Tuesday night. “This is not in his DNA.”
The university’s Office of Emergency Management said that shots were reported at about 5:50 p.m. near the Kennedy building on campus.
In the alert, students were told to “run, hide, fight.”
The Lambda Delta Chapter of Alpha Tau Omega issued a statement Tuesday night saying that a member, Drew Pescaro, was one of the people injured in the shooting. The spokesperson said Pescaro is under medical supervision at Charlotte Medical Center, but his condition was unknown.
A Facebook account that appears to belong to Pescaro shows that he is a Middle Creek High School graduate who lives in Apex.
Susan Harden, an UNCC professor and Mecklenburg County Commissioner, was at home when she heard of the shooting. She went to a staging area, she said, to provide support.
Harden said she has taught inside the Kennedy building, where the shootings occurred.
“It breaks my heart. We’re torn up about what’s happened,” Harden said. “Students should be able to learn in peace and in safety and professors ought to be able to do their jobs in safety.”
In a statement, UNCC Chancellor Phil Dubois said Tuesday was “the saddest day in UNC Charlotte’s history.”
“This was an attack on all of Niner Nation,” Debois said.
The days ahead will be some of the most challenging we have ever encountered,” he said. “All I can say for certain is that we will get through them together.”
Counseling and spiritual support services will be available to members of the university community, he said.
The FBI is assisting Charlotte-Mecklenburg police and other law enforcement agencies in the investigation.
Published at Wed, 01 May 2019 09:22:28 +0000