Police and EMS block the streets while the campus-wide lockdown was in effect. Photo taken from a room in Lawson and provided by a student via the social media app Fizz.

NCCU schedules town hall for today after shooting and lockdown

April 3, 2024

N.C. Central University announced Wednesday morning that it will hold a town hall meeting about campus safety at 3 p.m. today after Tuesday night’s shooting at a residence hall that left a male student injured and resulted in a two-hour campus-wide lockdown.

At approximately 10:15 p.m., NCCU Police received reports of possible gunshots at the Lawson Street Residence Hall. Officers responded in force, with lines of police vehicles parked between the front of the building and the Latham Parking Deck.

Aeronii Melvin, a biomedical science freshman, said that she heard the commotion coming from an hallway nearby.

“We thought they were playing around, but they weren’t,” Melvin said. “So we went to get the police but they were already there and pushed us into our room.”

At 10:23 p.m., Eagles were informed through the alert system that campus was on lockdown and were instructed to stay in their rooms and lock their doors. Around this time, NCCU Police began a full sweep of Lawson, searching hallways to ensure that the building was safe.

Durham City EMS, who was already on scene for an unrelated call, rendered aid to one victim, a student, who had one or more gunshot wounds. It was unclear if the victim or suspect knew each other, or if the suspect was in custody.

However, the victim was transported to Duke University Hospital for treatment. While a student has posted on social media he was ok, it’s unclear if this person was, in fact, the victim of the shooting or the unrelated call.

Meanwhile, not every Eagle was able to return to their rooms. When the lockdown was initiated, most Eagle Card systems were shut off. This resulted in students and faculty being locked out of buildings, including the dormitories that provided safety.

Cristian Williams, a mass communications junior, said he stayed near Eagleson Residence Hall until the lockdown was over.

“I was in the car with some friends and just waited,” Williams said.

At 11:53 p.m., another Eagle alert informed students they could enter the New Student Center to seek refuge.

At 12:20 a.m., NCCU Police determined there was no threat to campus and lifted the lockdown, allowing students who were in the student center to return to their dorms.

The Campus Echo reached out to University Police, but was transferred to the NCCU Communications and Marketing department, who didn’t provide a comment.

Starting this morning at 8:30 a.m., counseling services and a case manager are available at Lawson for Eagles who need support.

It’s recommended that Eagles check their classes, while some professors are using Wednesday as a mental health day, others are going forward as scheduled.

At 3:00 p.m., NCCU’s Division of Student Affairs, Police and SGA will host a Campus Safety Town Hall. The session is restricted to students and it’s recommended that they attend.

The investigation is ongoing and the Campus Echo will provide more information when it becomes available.

UPDATE (1:13 p.m. Wednesday): According to the NCCU Office of Communications and Marketing, the shooting suspect has been identified, but not apprehended.

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Police and EMS block the streets while the campus-wide lockdown was in effect. Photo taken from a room in Lawson and provided by a student via the social media app Fizz.
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