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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was on lockdown Monday afternoon after reports of an “armed, dangerous person on or near campus.”

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The first alert to people on campus went out after 1 p.m. with the university telling students about an hour and a half later to remain sheltered in place with a “suspect at large,” The Associated Press reported.

Accused gunman charged with murder

Update 9:35 a.m. EDT Aug. 28: Accused gunman, UNC graduate student Tailei Qi has been charged with first-degree murder. He has been booked into the Orange County Jail, WNCN reported.

It is the same person whose photo was released by campus police during the incident.

Qui has a master’s degree from Louisiana State University and a degree from Wuhan University, WRAL reported.

The victim in Monday’s shooting has been identified as Qi’s academic adviser, Zijie Yan. He was an applied physical sciences professor, WRAL reported. He specialized in nanoscience technology. They had been working together in Yan’s research group since early 2022, co-authoring research papers on the effect of light on nanoparticles. Recently Yan had been working on “optical tweezers” using light to develop nanorobots within cells.

The AP reported that police are still trying to determine a motive.

“To actually have the suspect in custody gives us an opportunity to figure out the why and even the how, and also helps us to uncover a motive and really just why this happened today. Why today, why at all?” UNC Police Chief Brian James said, according to the AP. “And we want to learn from this incident and we will certainly work to do our best to ensure that this never happens again on the UNC campus.”

Officials at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said the campus is now at Condition 3 retroactive to Condition 2. It will remain at Condition 3 until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

Along with the earlier announcement that classes are canceled through Tuesday, non-mandatory operations are also suspended and non-mandatory employees are not required to work or use paid leave unless told otherwise.

The campus also reminded students, faculty and staff that there are mental health resources available to them.

— Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Faculty member killed, chancellor says

Update 5:55 p.m. EDT Aug. 28: A University of North Carolina official said that a faculty member was fatally shot in a campus building, The Associated Press and WRAL-TV reported.

UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz confirmed that the faculty member was shot and killed at Caudill Labs, WTVD reported.

Tailei Qi, a doctorate student at the university, was taken into custody, according to WRAL. He was taken into custody at about 2:38 p.m. EDT, according to WTVD.

The victim’s name has not been released, WRAL reported.

“I am devastated and saddened by today’s shooting in one of our campus buildings,” Guskiewicz said in a written statement. “This shooting damages the trust and safety that we so often take for granted on our campus.

“Our hearts are with the family of our fellow faculty member, those who are personally connected to the victim and those traumatized by this senseless act of violence.”

Tuesday’s classes were canceled.

— Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Suspect in custody

Update 5:41 p.m. EDT Aug. 28: University of North Carolina officials said a suspect has been arrested after reports of shots fired at the Chapel Hill campus, The Associated Press reported.

University officials announced a news conference to release more details. UNC Police, UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Chief of Police Brian James will address the media, WTVD reported.

— Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

UNC Police lift lockdown

Update 4:30 p.m. EDT, Aug. 28: The University of North Carolina Police Department ended the lockdown on campus.

In a tweet at 4:14 p.m. EDT, police told students and personnel to “resume normal activities.”

“All clear. All clear. Resume normal activities,” the department tweeted.

The lockdown was lifted after three hours.

School officials and local police did not provide details about an alleged shooting on campus, The Associated Press reported.

School officials said they would share information once it was verified, the news organization reported.

— Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Original report: Dozens of police officers and multiple helicopters were dispatched.

More than two hours after it started, students were being escorted from a science building.

The Washington Post reported that classes were canceled for the remainder of the day.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he had spoken with the county sheriff and the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, adding that he has pledged, “all state resources needed to capture the shooter and protect the UNC Campus,” the Post reported.

The school called it “the active assailant situation” in the campus Alert Carolina system, WTVD reported.

CNN reported that UNC-Chapel Hill has about 32,000 students, 4,000 faculty and 9,000 staff.