Crime & Courts

After shooting, UNCC students will see more police on campus this fall, chancellor says

UNC Charlotte will have more police on campus and more security at big events this fall, as most students return to campus for the first time after a deadly shooting on the last day of spring classes.

Students, faculty and staff are also being offered counseling and training on how to respond to an “active assailant,” chancellor Philip Dubois wrote in a letter published Thursday.

Dubois noted that everyone recovers at a different pace, and many people are still coping with the deaths of Riley Howell, 21, and Reed Parlier, 19. The two students were killed and four of their classmates were injured April 30, when police say a former UNCC student opened fire on the class during end-of-semester presentations.

Trystan Terrell, now 23, was arrested and charged with two counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder. He’s been in Mecklenburg County Jail ever since.

The increased security on campus doesn’t mean there’s any new threat, Dubois wrote.

“Instead, it is intended to reassure us all of the strength and accessibility of our police force,” he wrote.

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During the fall semester, UNCC will also install safety posters in every classroom, according to Dubois. The posters will provide guidance on what to do in an emergency along with critical contact information and the room number, so occupants can share their location with police.

Along with counseling, UNCC faculty and staff are invited to a workshop on how to support students as they come back to campus, including how to identify students who might need more help, Dubois wrote.

The university had already decided that the classroom where the shooting took place will not be used in the 2019-20 school year.

Dubois shared updates about two reviews of the shooting and the university’s response. An internal review has already wrapped up, he wrote, and he will receive a report about it within the next couple of weeks.

The university has also commissioned the National Police Foundation to lead an independent, external review, starting in late August or early September, Dubois wrote. Other experts, including the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, will also be involved.

UNCC’s fall semester will kick off with new student convocation on Aug. 19.

Jane Wester is a Charlotte native and has been covering criminal justice and public safety for The Charlotte Observer since May 2017.
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