UNC shooting updates: Students demand gun control with powerful newspaper front page after Chapel Hill attack

UNC shooting updates: Students demand gun control with powerful newspaper front page after Chapel Hill attack

University on lockdown over ‘active shooting’ situation on campus


Students at the University of North Carolina are demanding action on gun control in the wake of Monday’s deadly Chapel Hill campus shooting.

Around 600 students took part in a rally on Wednesday calling for stricter state gun laws and holding a moment of silence for slain professor Zijie Yan.

The student newspaper The Daily Tar Heel marked the tragedy with a powerful front page on Wednesday, featuring the terrified text messages sent by loved ones to its editor-in-chief during the active situation. The page has gone viral.

Many questions still remain about suspect Tailei Qi’s motive for the attack as the search for the gun continues.

Mr Qi, a PhD student majoring in applied physical sciences, had complained about the victim online in the lead-up to the attack and railed against hard work, “girls and tattletales” and bullies in the US.

He was arrested and booked into Orange County Sheriff’s Office jail on a first-degree murder charge for fatally shooting Yan, the head of the Department of Applied Sciences.


Zijie Yan ‘sweet, dedicated’ researcher and father, colleague says

Doug Chrisey, Yan’s former advisor at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, shared a heartfelt tribute on Tuesday.

“He would knock on my door with incredible experimental results and a huge smile … He would leave feeling he didn’t understand anything about the nucleation and growth of nanoparticles, but still with a huge smile,” Mr Chrisey wrote in a Facebook post, according to The News & Observer.

“He had a resting sweet face — and everything about his personality was consistent with that,”

Andrea Blanco1 September 2023 03:00


WATCH: Graduate student charged in UNC at Chapel Hill murder

Graduate Student Charged in UNC Chapel Hill Murder

Andrea Blanco1 September 2023 01:00


‘I know exactly who it is’: 911 caller reported shooter moments after the attack

A 911 call obtained by The News & Observer detailed the horror following an attack inside UNC’s Caudil Laboratories that left 38-year-old applied sciences assistant professor Zijie Yan dead.

When asked if they knew the shooter, the caller said: “I do … I know exactly who it is.”

“I know who the student is. His name is Tailei Qi and he has a gun and he’s on campus.”

The caller then said that they had seen the shooter leaving the scene and that he had used a short gun.

Mr Qi was charged with Yan’s murder.

Yan was the head of his department and also Mr Qi’s academic advisor.

Andrea Blanco31 August 2023 23:00


2019 shooting at different UNC campus left two people dead

Harrowingly, the horror on Monday was a somewhat familiar sight for the UNC community coming four years after a mass shooting at the Charlotte campus.

Back on 30 April 2019 – on the last day of the spring semester classes – two people were killed and four injured in a mass shooting inside a classroom in the Woodford A. Kennedy Building.

The gunman – identified as former UNCC student Trystan Andrew Terrell – was arrested soon after.

In September 2019, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced life without the possibility of parole.

Andrea Blanco31 August 2023 21:52


UNC at Chapel Hill students demand gun control

Hundreds of students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill marched in a rally, demanding that lawmakers address gun violence across the state.

Students from different groups, including March For Our Lives and Students Demand Action, participated in the rally while holding up a large banner that read: “This is our reality.”

“In a matter of seconds, we went from taking notes, walking in the quad, being at home, to being forced to run, barricade the doors; there’s nothing normal about returning to school tomorrow,” said Kyle Lumsden, a volunteer with UNC Students Demand Action, according to The News&Observer.

“There’s nothing normal about hearing from people, ‘Thoughts and prayers,’ and the continuous idea that we cannot prevent these tragedies.”

Mitchell Pinsky, a UNC graduate student and member of Students Demand Action, added: “We can’t even make it a full two weeks without gun violence wreaking havoc on our campus.”


March For Our Lives co-founder David Hogg speaks at a gun safety rally


Vigil Held At UNC Chapel Hill For Faculty Member Killed By Student

(Getty Images)

Students hold signs during a gun safety rally following a fatal shooting


Andrea Blanco31 August 2023 19:10


Death penalty for alleged gunman is not on the table, DA says

The district attorney will reportedly not seek the death penalty for Tailei Qi – the suspected gunman charged with fatally shooting a UNC professor on campus.

Mr Qi, 34, has been charged with first-degree murder over the death of associate professor Zijie Yan, and with possessing a 9mm pistol on campus.

District attorney Jeff Nieman said he would not seek the death penalty against Mr Qi, according to News&Observer.

Mr Nieman said an eyewitness led law enforcement officers to Mr Qi in a neighbourhood off campus after a 911 caller had reported shots fired inside Caudill Labs.

Andrea Blanco31 August 2023 16:37


UNC shooting suspect will not face death penalty, DA says

A district attorney has ruled out the possibility of seeking the death penalty for the UNC doctoral student accused of murdering his academic advisor in a shooting that sparked terror across the Chapel Hill campus.

The UNC community is still reeling from a shooting on Monday that left one faculty member dead and forced frantic students fearing for their lives to barricade themselves inside lecture halls.

Tailei Qi, an applied sciences PhD student at UNC, has been charged with first-degree murder and possession of a weapon on academic premises in connection with the fatal shooting of his lab advisor Zijie Yan.

Andrea Blanco31 August 2023 14:00


How ‘Stand Your Ground’ gun laws are fuelling shootings and racism

In America, seemingly any interaction, from the innocuous to the intimidating, can end in gun violence.

Consider this year alone.

April saw multiple high-profile shootings. In Kansas City, Ralph Yarl, a Black 16-year-old with dreams of pursuing a career in engineering, was shot at point blank range for ringing the wrong doorbell.

A group of young cheerleaders in Texas were shot when one accidentally entered the wrong car in a grocery store parking lot. Kaylin Gillis, 20, was fatally gunned down in rural New York after mistakenly pulling into the wrong driveway.

And Kinsley White, a six-year-old from Gastonia, North Carolina, was shot alongside her parents when her basketball rolled into a neighbour’s garden.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar31 August 2023 13:30


The shooting in Chapel Hill took away the magic of a place I love

“As soon as I got a text from a friend that a shooting was happening on campus, my heart sank,” The Independent’s Eric Garcia writes.

Andrea Blanco31 August 2023 13:00


UNC student newspaper features powerful front page after shooting

The Daily Tar Heel’s powerful cover on Wednesday came together as the UNC at Chapel Hill continued to reel from the terrifying lockdown on Monday and the loss of assistant professor Zijie Yan.

The DTH’s print managing editor Caitlyn Yaede told The Independent that she had become emotional as she typed the heartwrenching messages on the front page.

“I’m in class, everyone is losing it,” “Are you safe? Where are you?” or “Come on sweetheart – I need to hear from you” were only a few of the dozens of texts included.


Andrea Blanco31 August 2023 12:00

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