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Faculty member slain, suspect held in University of North Carolina shooting

UPI
Authorities in Chapel Hill, N.C., published a photo of a "person of interest" in connection with the Monday slaying of a faculty member at the University of North Carolina. A suspect has since been arrested, police said. Photo courtesy University of North Carolina Police

Aug. 28 (UPI) -- A University of North Carolina faculty member was killed in a shooting Monday on the school's Chapel Hill campus and a suspect is in custody in connection with the incident, authorities announced.

No one else was injured in the shooting, which happened around 1 p.m. at the university's Caudill Labs near the center of campus, UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz told reporters in a press briefing.

The identity of the male faculty member is being withheld until the victim's relatives can be notified.

"His loss is devastating and the shooting damages the trust and safety that we so often take for granted in our campus community," Guskiewicz said.

"We will work to rebuild that sense of trust and safety within our community, and 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," he added.

The shooting triggered a campuswide emergency alert and a lockdown that lasted for three hours. Classes were eventually canceled for Monday and Tuesday in the wake of the violence, the chancellor said.

Police responded to the labs after a report of shots being fired and found the slain faculty member when they arrived, UNC Police Chief Brian James said.

Acting on descriptions provided to authorities, police apprehended a suspect about 90 minutes after the shooting, he said, adding that the weapon used in the slaying has not yet been recovered.

University officials declined to provide further details about the incident, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.

"It's still to early to identify a motive," James said.

Before the suspect was apprehended, UNC Police posted a photo of a "person of interest" on X, the social-media platform previously known as Twitter.

Video posted by WRAL-TV showed authorities arresting a young man and putting him handcuffed into a police cruiser.

Calling the situation "tragic," Gov. Roy Cooper said he was monitoring the event.

"My office in in communication with law enforcement and officials at UNC-Chapel Hill who are taking precautions to protect campus safety following today's shooting," Cooper said Monday in a message on X.

"This is a tragic way to start a new semester, and the state will provide any assistance necessary to support the UNC community," he said.

The FBI is assisting in the investigation and Caudill Labs will remain closed as a crime scene, school officials said.