CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV/WNCN) – Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have charged a 22-year-old man suspected of shooting six people, killing two of them, on UNC-Charlotte’s campus Tuesday evening.
Trystan Andrew Terrell is charged with two counts of murder, four counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, possession of firearm on educational property, and discharging firearm on educational property.
Two people were killed and four others shot on the University of North Carolina Charlotte campus Tuesday evening. The suspected shooter was taken into custody, according to police sources.
According to sources, Terrell made a full confession to investigators during his questioning at CMPD.
Sources say that last semester, Terrell withdrew from all but one of his classes. Sources say it was that class – anthropology – that he went to in the Kennedy Hall building armed with a pistol.
The shooting happened around 5:40 p.m.
An alert, sent by UNCC Emergency Management said shots were reported near the Kennedy Hall building. The alert told students to “Run, Hide, Fight. Secure yourself immediately. Monitor email and emergency.uncc.edu.”
UNC-Charlotte Police Chief Jeff Baker said Terrell was armed with a pistol.
Officers were able to take the Terrell into custody inside a building on campus.
“Our officer’s actions saved lives,” Baker said.
The chief said the Terrell did not say anything to the officers who took him into custody.
Baker confirmed two people were killed while four were injured. Three of those injured are in critical condition.
“We are all pretty much devastated,” Baker said.
One of those injured was Drew Pescaro, according to a tweet by Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity.
“He is currently under medical supervision at CMC and we will advise further updates as they come,” the tweet reads. The hospital later told CBS 17 Pescaro had been discharged.
Police have not released any names.
Multiple social media posts from students on campus showed emergency personnel rushing students out of buildings as first responders went in.
Other students took shelter as the alerts were coming out.
Monifa Drayton, Assistant Vice President of Medical Staff Services at Atrium Health, said she was walking into the building where the shooting happened to teach a class when she heard shots and saw students running toward her. She and another man began leading the students to a nearby parking deck.
“They were absolutely petrified. The children were absolutely petrified,” Drayton said. “And I also sat and waited with a gentleman whose girlfriend, her name’s Zara, she was in the library. And at that point, the library doors had been shot out and she was in there barricaded. So I sat with him. He was very, very worried but she came out OK. So, she’s still shaken up.”
Officers swept the campus after the shooting. At approximately 7:45 p.m., CMPD said the scene was secure and there was no reason to believe anyone else was involved.
The man in handcuffs appears to turn to the camera and say “I just went into his classroom and shot the guy.”
Students were directed to 8600 University City Blvd. to be reunited with their families.
Mayor Vi Lyles sent a statement on Twitter about the shooting. She said she was in shock to hear the horrible news.
Congressman Richard Hudson, who represents NC’s 8th District, also released a statement about the shooting just before 7 p.m.
“Renee and I are heartbroken to see this violence in our community and at my alma mater,” said Hudson. “We are grateful for the quick and selfless action of first responders and police. Our thoughts and prayers are with victims, their families, and the entire 49er community. I will continue to monitor the situation and pray for the safety of all on campus.”
The university said just before 8 p.m. that all scheduled activities were canceled as the campus was still on lockdown. The lockdown was lifted around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.
“This is the worst day in the history of UNC Charlotte,” said Chancellor Philip Dubois.
Gov. Roy Cooper arrived in Charlotte just before 9 p.m., Baker said.
“I know the people in this community and they will be there for each other,” Cooper said.
Cooper went on to praise first responders. He also called for an end to violence.
“We will take a hard look at all of this to see what we need to do going forward,” Cooper said.
The FBI released a statement saying while CMPD is the lead investigative agency, the Bureau is assisting in the investigation.
“The FBI is on scene and assisting the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and other law enforcement partners at UNC-Charlotte in the aftermath of an on-campus shooting. The FBI is prepared to provide any resource needed as the investigation continues to determine exactly what led to this tragic loss of life in our community,” said John Strong, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Charlotte.
Dubois released the following statement:
This is the saddest day in UNC Charlotte’s history. Earlier this evening, the unthinkable happened on our campus. At approximately 5:40 PM, an individual opened fire in a UNC Charlotte classroom, cutting short the lives of two members of our community and seriously injuring four others.
Families of the deceased victims are being notified, and university staff are with those who are injured. The entire UNC Charlotte community shares the shock and grief of this senseless, devastating act. This was an attack on all of Niner Nation.
I am proud of and grateful for the efforts of UNC Charlotte Police and Public Safety, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, and other emergency officials. The suspected shooter is in custody and lives were saved thanks to their rapid response. Their work on campus will continue over the next several hours. Students and staff on campus should follow the instructions of law enforcement officials and the instructions issued in NinerAlerts. Everyone else should remain off campus until an all-clear message is issued.
The days ahead will be some of the most challenging we have ever encountered. All I can say for certain is that we will get through them together. There is still much that we don’t know, and we will share information with you as soon as it is available. Among those unknowns is how we will navigate the remainder of the semester, including the final examination schedule and graduation. Examinations will be canceled through Sunday while we formulate a plan for the following week.
Counseling and Psychological Services is currently providing counseling services to students who were on campus during the event. We intend to make counseling and spiritual support services available to the entire campus community beginning tomorrow morning. Faculty and staff who need support overnight should contact the Employee Assistance Program at 1-877-603-8259. Additional details regarding those services and other resources will follow in the coming hours.