Yesterday was a very difficult day here at UNC Chapel Hill. One of the faculty members in the Department of Applied Physical Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Zijie Yan, was killed on campus. It was an active shooter situation where the sirens went off, Alert Carolina texts and emails were sent, a large police presence was on campus, and we were on lockdown. Doors were locked and people were isolated in their offices behind their desks for hours. Students were locked down as well. And, yes, we had a large class on site with over 100 local government officials in attendance. Campus was closed but not. It was quiet. Then it was filled with students and employees leaving lock down locations. Today, campus is closed and it will be again tomorrow.
In the last several hours, many of you have reached out to myself and my colleagues to check on us. This is to let you know, we are here. Many of us are not working while campus is closed. We are processing yesterday’s events. Some of us were on campus and some of us were not. Some of us had children here at UNC or in the local Chapel Hill and Carrboro schools that were also locked down. We were all affected. We are sad. We are troubled. But, we are ok.
Thank you for reaching out to us and letting us know we are in your thoughts. Thank you to the police and first responders. Thank you to our leadership, both at the School and UNC at large. Thank you to everyone who helped and is helping. For the family, friends, colleagues, and students of Dr. Yan, we are so sorry. You are in our thoughts.