It was the last day of classes at UNC Charlotte. I was walking out of the Colvard building with my friend around 5:35 p.m. when three guys stopped us to tell us there was an active shooter in Kennedy Hall. The buildings sit across the lawn from each other. This was before the 5:50 p.m. alert went out from the school’s Office of Emergency Management.
NinerAlert: Shots reported near kennedy. Run, Hide, Fight. Secure yourself immediately. Monitor email and https://t.co/LxOefV3rbf
— UNCC OEM (@NinerAlerts) April 30, 2019
I was a little concerned when I saw “Fight” in the alert. I think they should’ve worded it a little better, but I understood they meant “fight” as a last resort after reading the full email.
We saw a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer running toward Kennedy with what looked to be an M4 rifle in his hand before we ran back into Colvard. That’s when we knew it was real.
We ran to the nearest classroom on the first floor of Colvard to tell the teacher and class about the shooting. We turned off the lights, locked the door and barricaded it with desks. Everyone was sort of confused when we told them there was a shooter on campus, but they took it seriously because of the severity.
At this point, we saw that the school was on lockdown. In a class of about 15 students, nobody was talking. We were all on our phones keeping up with the news, but waiting for the all-clear. I texted my parents to let them know I was OK before news of the shooting went out.
As a writer for UNCC’s Niner Times, my fellow staffers were keeping me informed on the scene outside. They let me know that two people were dead, more people were shot, and the alleged shooter was a student named Trystan Andrew Terrell.
We waited in the classroom for about two hours before CMPD officers escorted us out of the Colvard building with our hands up in a single-file line.
I walked back to my apartment across the street from campus where I saw a ton of police cars, students and reporters.
I have never been in a situation like this. At first, I was a little afraid and startled, but campus police did a great job. I thank God the situation wasn’t worse because it easily could’ve been. I’m fine now and thankful that the shooter was caught and students are safe. What a terrible way to end the semester.
Jonathan Limehouse is a journalist whose passion is to find good and impactful stories. He’s an avid sports fan who can be found at numerous sporting events around Charlotte.