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UNC lockdown updates: Horror as armed person waves gun at Chapel Hill bagel shop weeks after campus shooting

All-clear issued about an hour after initial alert caused by man waving gun near bagel shop

Andrea Cavallier,Graeme Massie,Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Thursday 14 September 2023 14:21 BST
UNC put on lockdown for ‘armed and dangerous person’

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Louise Thomas

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The University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill campus was put on lockdown for the second time in two weeks after an armed person waved a gun inside a bagel shop.

An alert was sent out at 12.54pm ET on Wednesday, asking students and staff to “go inside now” and to “avoid windows” because of the threat “on or near campus”. An all-clear alert was put out at 2.10pm.

An official told The Daily Tar Heel that the incident came when the suspect allegedly brandished a gun at Alpine Bagel over an employment-related conflict.

No shots were fired and police said that suspect Mickel Deonte Harris, 27, was arrested at around 2.45pm just north of the campus.

This marks the second terrifying incident at the school in just over two weeks. On 28 August, the campus was on lockdown for hours amid reports of an “armed and dangerous person”.

That person was identified as Tailei Qi, a 34-year-old graduate student who allegedly shot and killed Zijie Yan, an associate professor in the Department of Applied Physical Sciences.


UNC issues alert after reports of ‘armed and dangerous’ person on campus

A University of North Carolina campus alert was sent out at 12.54pm ET, asking students and staff to “go inside now” and to “avoid windows” because of the threat posed “on or near campus.”

The campus has been placed into lockdown over an “armed and dangerous person.”

UNC Media Relations said they have no additional information at this time.

Andrea Cavallier13 September 2023 18:28

UNC employee tweets taking cover in library following alert

Andrea Cavallier13 September 2023 18:37

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools in ‘secure mode’

All Chapel Hill-Carrboro City schools have been advised to enter “Secure Mode” due to reports of an armed and dangerous person on or near the UNC campus.

This means the doors will be locked, people are not allowed in or out, and classroom instruction can continue normally inside, according to a tweet.

“Stay close to your phone & email for updates as we monitor this new & ongoing situation,” it advised.

Andrea Cavallier13 September 2023 18:42

Police on lookout for suspect involved in incident at Alpine Bagel

Police are on the lookout for a suspect involved in an incident at Alpine Bagel at the UNC Student Union after a person was seen with a firearm, according to WRAL.

Sources told the TV station that no shots have been fired.

Video from the scene showed law enforcement vehicles parked near the student union near the intersection of Stadium Drive and South Road, and audio of the sirens going off across the campus were posted to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

Andrea Cavallier13 September 2023 18:46

UNC police advise students and staff to ‘silence phones’

Andrea Cavallier13 September 2023 19:00

One person taken into custody, says report

Police have taken one person into custody on Formosa Lane in Chapel Hill, north of the UNC campus, reported WRAL.

Graeme Massie13 September 2023 20:03

Classes cancelled for remainder of day

UNC will cancel all classes for Wednesday, 13 September, according to an email sent to the university’s faculty, reported The Daily Tar Heel.

Graeme Massie13 September 2023 20:33

Police investigating motive for campus incident

UNC Police Chief Brian James said authorities did not know Harris’s motive and were reviewing footage of the incident at a bagel store at the student union.

“We are exploring what their relationship was,” Chief James said of the suspect’s connection with the former Alpine Bagel Shop employee. “We believe there was some type of connection.”

Graeme Massie13 September 2023 23:01

UNC chancellor reacts to campus incident

“It’s sad and alarming that there have been two lockdowns over the past 16 days on our campus,” UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz told reporters. “We’ve had to apprehend individuals that have violated the safety of our community.”

Graeme Massie14 September 2023 00:00

Latest alert comes two weeks after professor Zijie Yan shot on campus

Zijie Yan, an associate professor in the Department of Applied Physical Sciences and a researcher, was shot and killed last month on campus sparking an hours-long lockdown.

Mr Yan was listed as the academic adviser to alleged killer UNC PhD student Tailei Qi, 34, who was arrested in the shooting.

Before joining UNC in 2019, Mr Yan was an assistant professor at Clarkson University in New York and received postdoctoral training at the University of Chicago. The slain professor left behind two young daughters.

He was shot at Caudill Laboratory which is roughly a quarter-mile from the student union that houses Alpine Bagel Cafe where police have zeroed in on in the incident on Wednesday. Students were seen running from the student union, WRAL reported.

Read more:

Who was UNC Chapel Hill shooting victim Zijie Yan?

Assistant professor Zijie Yan was the suspect’s academic adviser

Graeme Massie14 September 2023 02:03

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