A tragic incident unfolded at UNC-Chapel Hill as a faculty member fell victim to a campus shooting. The suspect in custody, a graduate student named Tailei Qi, allegedly shot and killed the faculty member on Monday afternoon, leading to a lockdown of the campus for several hours.
Qi, a graduate student in applied physical sciences, was apprehended and taken into custody following the incident. The authorities are in the process of determining formal charges, as mentioned during a press conference on Monday evening.
Concerning the deceased faculty member, university officials, and police refrained from disclosing the identity while they reached out to the family.
While the motive behind the shooting remains unclear, Qi’s social media posts on Twitter have indicated feelings of frustration, stress, and depression. Over the past year, his posts have alluded to conflicts with fellow students and his principal investigator (PI), a faculty member assigned by the university to guide students in their research projects.
It is not confirmed whether the PI mentioned in the posts is the same faculty member who tragically lost their life.
Qi’s Twitter posts from the past have revealed glimpses into his state of mind. He expressed feelings of privacy intrusion and dissatisfaction with his work environment. The posts have alluded to conflicts with peers and PI, and his thoughts on various societal matters.
The incident caused panic and disruption at the university, as an Alert Carolina message was sent out after reports of shots being fired at Caudill Labs, a location for chemistry labs. The campus swiftly canceled all classes and events, and the university community took refuge in classrooms, libraries, and dorms, while police searched for the shooter.
Qi was eventually identified as a person of interest, and he was taken into custody about a mile from the campus. The tragedy has highlighted the importance of community unity and preparedness in such unfortunate events.
As the campus mourns this loss and grapples with the aftermath of the shooting, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz emphasized the importance of coming together as a community to support each other during these challenging times. The tragic event has underscored the need for the safety and well-being of students, faculty, and staff on campus.