Police searching for person of interest in NCCU shooting
Posted November 21, 2013
Updated November 22, 2013
Durham, N.C. — North Carolina Central University police were searching Friday for a 21-year-old man wanted for questioning in connection with a shooting that put the school's campus on lockdown for about 30 minutes Thursday afternoon.
Authorities originally named Crandall Ortais Ingram, a former N.C. Central student, as a suspect in the shooting that happened at about 2:40 p.m. Thursday near Concord and Lawson streets.
On Friday, authorities backed off of that, saying that Ingram was a "person of interest" in the case.
Following the shooting, officers were unable to find any shell casings, campus Police Chief Timothy Bellamy said.
The university was on a precautionary lockdown for about 30 minutes, and students and staff were urged to seek shelter, lock doors and stay away from windows.
"(Witnesses) saw someone walking across campus and saw a vehicle come up, shots were fired," Bellamy told reporters at a news conference shortly after the lockdown was lifted.
After naming Ingram as a suspect on Thursday, authorities said it was unclear why he may have fired shots. Ingram fled in a cream, four-door Audi and was last seen headed southeast of campus, police said.
A message sent from Ingram’s Twitter account after the news conference said he was not on campus because he was in court all day. N.C. Central police had not responded to questions about the tweets late Thursday.
Officers did take for questioning an unidentified man whom Ingram is accused of trying to shoot.
"He is not hurt. He is not injured. There is nothing wrong," Bellamy said. "He's going down to be questioned, to give statements concerning what happened this afternoon."
Bellamy said that Ingram – who was a victim of a shooting near N.C. Central on Nov. 3, 2012 – was banned from the university two years ago and is wanted by campus police on charges of trespassing and delaying and obstructing a law enforcement officer after an officer saw him on campus last week.
The chief, however, would not say why Ingram was banned.
According to court records, Ingram was scheduled to be in court Thursday in Orange County.
Extra precautions were being taken on campus Thursday night.
"There is always going to be some issue of concern until we apprehend Mr. Ingram, but I would like to say that we will put officers on high visibility tonight, along with the city police department, so I feel students will be very safe tonight," Bellamy said.
Still, campus safety was on the minds of many students Thursday evening – the third time this semester the university has been placed on lockdown.
"I do not feel safe here, and I hate that, because I actually like the education," student Chelsea Caldwell said. "But, as far as safety? No."
Others, however, said safety wasn't an issue for them but said a campus-wide alert system initially caused panic because they didn't know where on campus the activity occurred.
Travez Jones was in a cafeteria when he received a phone call that the campus was on lockdown.
"It was kind of scary, because the café administration started running, and I heard some screaming," he said. "I thought, 'Is this guy coming up the stairs?' So, I got a little scared."