Gunman kills 2, injures 4 at University of North Carolina, Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C.,  (Reuters) – A gunman reported to have been a student opened fire in a building at the University of North Carolina’s Charlotte campus yesterday, killing two people and wounding four others, three of them critically, officials said.

Details of the late-afternoon violence remained hazy hours later, but campus Police Chief Jeff Baker said his emergency dispatch office first received a call about an individual armed with a pistol who had shot several students.

Two or three campus police officers responding to the call entered the building, disarmed the gunman and took him into custody, Baker said.

Police declined to immediately make the suspect’s name public. Officials offered no explanation for what might have precipitated the shooting, as it was unclear whether the assailant knew any of his victims.

Local television news footage showed police officers escorting a tall, lanky young man with shaggy brown hair from a patrol car. As he was taken into a station house, the man looked over his shoulder with a smile and appeared to yell something at reporters.

Several local media outlets reported the gunman either was or had been a student on the campus.

“Our officers’ actions definitely saved lives. There’s no doubt about that,” Baker said.

The gun violence, coinciding with the last day of classes for the academic year, prompted a security lockdown of the entire campus as police swept the university one building at a time, evacuating students as they progressed.

Video aired on local television and posted to social media showed scenes that have become all too familiar in the United States due to the rise in school gun violence, with students evacuating campus buildings with their hands raised as police officers ran past them toward the scene of the shooting.

About three hours after the shooting, Baker said all university buildings had been searched and secured and that students who live on campus could return to their dormitory halls. The university said final exams would be postponed through Sunday.

An outdoor concert scheduled for Tuesday night at the campus football stadium by rap artist Waka Flocka Flame was also canceled after the shooting.

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