CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - As UNC Charlotte mourns from Tuesday’s shooting, we're learning a little more of just what happened inside a classroom at Kennedy Hall.
The chilling details come from a blog post written by a professor who was teaching his anthropology class that day when the shooter opened fire.
It was the first day of final presentations inside the classroom at Kennedy Hall, Professor Adam Johnson wrote. He says the gunfire rang out just 10 minutes into the class.
“Without warning, earsplitting bangs ring throughout the room, off the glass walls, creating a terrible reverberation. Students, in great [confusion], begin to run,” Johnson writes.
He says a student later told him that they first thought the sounds were “part of the presentation or someone setting off large firecrackers."
He says terror set in just seconds after he and his students realized what was actually happening.
“I stood up and kicked the chair I was sitting in away from the walkway and moved towards the door, ushering students in that direction.”
Johnson says he held the door open for the rushing students, and even had to pick up one student who fell and was stepped on in the chaos. They exited the classroom, rushing out and yelling "active shooter!"
“The students are scattering and running for their lives, in all directions. I grab a few students and rush towards a close building. I know if we make it there, we can go up the stairs to the second floor and into my office.”
Johnson says he and the students arrived at the office of the Anthropology department and rushed in. The department chair was there and placed the call to 911, telling police the scary details. The Niner Alert goes out: “Run. Hide. Fight.” Minutes later, police arrived on scene.
“The students that I have in the room with me are expressing different emotional responses: crying, disbelief, shock.”
He says many students left all of their belongings in the classroom, and didn’t even have a cell phone to call friends or family.
“After what seemed like forever, we heard a hard bang on the door to the department, ‘CMPD!’”
He and the students were taken out of the room and told that the shooter had been taken into custody. They were brought to an empty department store near the campus to be interviewed. He says they were given food and drinks, and police immediately brought in counselors for students.
Johnson says the shooter was enrolled in his Anthropology and Philosophy class. He was engaged in class at first, then stopped coming. He later found out that the student had withdrawn.
“I run into the shooter on campus shortly after (I am guessing either late January or VERY early February) and conveyed that it was a shame that they had to leave the course but I understood. It is important to prioritize. That was the last time I saw the shooter.”
Through discussions with victims, survivors, he was able to get an idea of what happened, Johnson says.
"Before opening fire, the shooter said nothing, did not indicate that they were going to shoot; simply raised the gun and started to fire. It was all over in a matter of seconds. One student tackled the shooter and undoubtedly saved more lives. They are an absolute hero.”
The shooter emptied the magazine, according to Johnson’s post, then laid the gun down and sat on the ground.
“One victim asked the shooter to stop shooting and they said ‘I'm done.’”
Johnson says he wrote the blog to document the events as they unfolded from his perspective. He ends the blog post through an anthropological lens, looking at the circumstances that may have allowed the tragic incident to occur.
“I believe that addressing the structural issues that allow for mass shootings to be the consequence is key to preventing them in the future. We have a moral obligation to each other, our children, and future generations to tackle this now and head on.”
To read the full post, please click here.
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