Local News

NCCU police shoot, kill gunman

Posted September 24, 2013

— Campus police shot and killed a man near North Carolina Central University late Monday after the man twice opened fire on them, authorities said Tuesday.

Durham police tracked a suspected robber who was believed to be armed near N.C. Central, prompting university officials to lock down the campus at about 10:15 p.m. 

N.C. Central police found the man in a wooded area near Cecil and Lincoln streets, near the southeast part of campus, shortly before midnight, and Police Chief Tim Bellamy said he pulled out a shotgun and fired at the campus officers. Campus police returned fire, and the man ran into some woods near the School of Education, Bellamy said.

Durham police brought in K-9 units to help track the man, and officers exchanged gunfire with him a second time when he refused to comply with their orders for him to surrender, Bellamy said. The man was shot and killed during that exchange.

Campus police said the gunman, whose identity hasn't been released, wasn't a student at N.C. Central.

Durham police believed the man was involved in a residential burglary Monday afternoon where several weapons were stolen and a subsequent armed robbery of an individual near downtown, Bellamy said. Other people were involved in the two crimes, he said, but it was unclear whether they were on or near the campus last night.

The lockdown was lifted at about 1:15 a.m., but classes in the School of Education building were held elsewhere Tuesday.

Bellamy said three campus officers were involved in the two exchanges with the gunman, and all three have been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is reviewed by the State Bureau of Investigation. That is standard procedure for any officer-involved shooting.

NCCU shooting NCCU students question alert system; officials say campus safe

"I'm not going to say I'm relieved," he said when asked about the resolution of the incident. "Somebody's family is suffering today."

University President Debra Saunders-White said the campus police acted heroically.

"Our officers were trained to do the kind of engagement they did when they see a dangerous assailant on campus," Saunders-White said. "They executed that training in the best way possible."

Students expressed concern Tuesday that sirens on campus initially indicated that an alert they signaled Monday night was only a test.

"I have all of my friends going on about whatever they're doing, and it's a serious occurrence outside," sophomore Asia Green said. "It really bothered us."

Bellamy said the sirens were tested last week, and that message was still in the system Monday night. But he said it was immediately replaced as the alert was being issued to reflect that there was a gunman on campus, and text messages, emails and automated phone calls were also issued to warn students

Durham police will have two officers patrolling the N.C. Central campus for the next several days to provide extra security, Bellamy said, adding that the campus experiences relatively few crimes despite being open to people from high-crime neighborhoods nearby.

"We have a very open campus," he said. "We want our students to have the freedom to go and come on campus, and if we put barriers up, fences up, gates up, then we become (less of) a university, and we'll look more like a penitentiary."


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  • thepeopleschamp Sep 25, 2013

    "When I was young, I witnessed a cop shoot someone then plant a knife on them, so you never know." Lightfoot3

    How many more times will this tale be posted? Get new material.

  • Lightfoot3 Sep 25, 2013

    "And hope that the bullet that missed the crook doesn't end up in someone in their living room across the street." - miseem

    Hey, another NY cop joke! :)

    While I tend to believe and trust cops, all interactions between them and the public should be recorded. It's cheap, easy technology that protects both police and citizens from false claims. When I was young, I witnessed a cop shoot someone then plant a knife on them, so you never know.

  • Stilllearnin Sep 24, 2013


    Please fell free to become a LEO, take the training and talk all the suspects who aim their weapons at you, other LEO's or civilians from not shooting. You can also try that while they are firing at you, let me know how that works!

  • GardeniaGirl369 Sep 24, 2013

    luv2funrun...Bravo!! Love your comment, so incredibly true. Thanks for stating the basis of why this criminal is dead.

  • miseem Sep 24, 2013

    I'll wait on the results of the investigation, but I tend to go with the cops when shots are fired by against them or guns pointed at them. Maybe some of these people criticizing cops may want to volunteer to "mediate" in future situations like this. I'm sure the cops will be glad to loan you a bullet proof vest. Or come by and just shoot to disable them. And hope that the bullet that missed the crook doesn't end up in someone in their living room across the street.

  • Mo Blues Sep 24, 2013

    "Another example of police in North Carolina being judge, jury and executioner. mojaintsmall"

    Waving a firearm and threatening ANYONE - cop or civilian - gives the victim the right to defend him/herself. In that case, judge, jury, and executioner. You don't have to die to protect a criminal's "rights".

  • mary032272 Sep 24, 2013

    mojaintsmall---if you were being shot at wouldn't you shot back? I know I would, better them than me getting shot. GOOD JOB to the Police that were there

  • gnewsome1 Sep 24, 2013

    Good reaction by the police. Guess some of you would have the police just stand around and get shot to make sure there were bullets in the criminal's gun. If you haven't been there under those circumstances, don't be so quick to judge the police.

  • Classified Sep 24, 2013

    “LOLOL...We were always told in the academy....some folks are meant to BE the police others are meant to CALL the Police....I speak as an officer that has been in a shooting on duty, these officers did their job” COPs eye

    ROTFL… I have no doubt you were told that. They say all sorts of hoorah stuff to pump you up, make you feel elite. I admit, I’m not meant to be a cop, that’s more a job for you ;)

  • thepeopleschamp Sep 24, 2013

    "no they are just trained to cover up the shootings"

    A man was on a college campus firing a shotgun at police, and you call that a cover up? What is the name of the person providing the cover-up training?