UNC campus put on lockdown over ‘armed and dangerous person’ two weeks after shooting

An “armed and dangerous” person who caused a campus lockdown at the University of North Carolina campus after a gun was allegedly waved around near a bagel store has been arrested, according to a report.

A campus alert was sent out at 12.54pm ET, asking students and staff to “go inside now” and to “avoid windows” because of the threat posed “on or near campus.” It happened two weeks after a fatal shooting of a professor by a student at the state’s flagship university.

WRAL News reported that the boyfriend of a former employee at Alpine Bagel Cafe at the student union entered the cafe, waved around a gun and left. No shots were fired during the incident.

Police say that Mickel Deonte Harris, 27, of Durham, North Carolina, was taken into custody at an apartment complex north of the UNC campus at around 2.45pm.

Authorities said that he was arrested on outstanding warrants related to a 5 September assault and also in connection with the incident on campus.

Video from the scene showed law enforcement vehicles parked near the student union near the intersection of Stadium Drive and South Road, and audio of the sirens going off across the campus was posted to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

At 2.10pm the university put out an updated alert that stated: “All clear. All clear. Resume normal activities.” Classes were then cancelled for the remainder of the day.

Suspect taken into custody after UNC campus lockdown (ABC11)
Suspect taken into custody after UNC campus lockdown (ABC11)

Just last month, Zijie Yan, an associate professor in the Department of Applied Physical Sciences, was gunned down on the Chapel Hill campus.

Tailei Qi, a 34-year-old graduate student at the university was charged with first-degree murder and having a gun on education property.

Campus police have asked anyone seeing suspicious activity to call 911.

The latest lockdown comes just 24 hours after UNC students protested state gun laws at the State House in nearby Raleigh, chanting “Vote Them Out” towards the politicians present.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools sent out a message to parents stating that they had entered a “secure mode” lockdown, with classes continuing.

The incident took place on the same morning that there was a UNC-Chapel Hill employee forum where faculty and staff gave feedback on the university’s response to the August shooting.

And Wednesday’s campus alarm went off just minutes after the university sent out an email asking the community to rate their response to the first shooting.

UNC-Chapel Hill sophomore Hallie Brew told WRAL that she was in her dorm room when the campus alarm went off.

“Texts started flooding in from peers who were in the union saying that they saw people running outside and just expressing that we all can’t believe this is happening again, not even a month after the first experience that we’ve had locked down,” said Ms Brew.

UNC Police Chief Brian James said authorities did not know Harris’s motive and were reviewing footage of the incident at a bagel store at the student union.

“We are exploring what their relationship was,” Chief James said of the suspect’s connection with the former Alpine Bagel Shop employee. “We believe there was some type of connection.”

UNC’s chancellor also reacted to the campus incident.

“It’s sad and alarming that there have been two lockdowns over the past 16 days on our campus,” chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz told reporters.

“We’ve had to apprehend individuals that have violated the safety of our community.”

There have been 31 shootings at a college or university that resulted in injury or death in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archives Six of those have been in North Carolina.