LIVE: NCCU shooting update
North Carolina Central University officials give an update on a fatal shooting from Saturday night that claimed the lives of two people on campus. Authorities are still looking for suspects.
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MS tina rough with Durham Technical Community College, Chair of the Durham County Board of Commissioners Brenda Howerton and the honourable Elaine o neill yeah the press conference will proceed in the following order. First dr johnson. Oh a thin layer. Chancellor of north Carolina Central University. He will be followed by Chief Damon Williams who is Chief of police and Director of public safety here at north Carolina Central University. Lieutenant. Geneva's minor will come up from Durham Police department. He will be followed by major walter Tate. Who is also with Durham Police department Chancellor I can lay will wrap up the event and we will have a few questions. One addition Mr Derek Stanfield will also address this news conference and he serves as the student Government Association president. Thank you mm the company. Good afternoon. It is my pleasure to have you here this afternoon. We wanna thank you for coming on such a very short notice. I'll be very very important. Oh press conference North Carolina Central University and the entire community here were impacted by a tragedy that occurred On Saturday September 18 2021 on the surface parking lot Between the three street and Lawson Avenue. I extend Condolences to the families of the two individuals who died this senseless act of violence. As Chancellor of north Carolina Central University. I want to take this this very opportunity here to provide additional information about the details of this particular isolated incident. Please know that this case remains active and it's being investigated by the Durham Police department who also here with us today. Let me begin by assuring everyone the S. E. C. U. Community and the public at large that our campus is safe and remains a safe and healthy environment. My sincere thanks and gratitude to the NccU Police and Public safety department along with Durham Police Department for quickly responding to the scene And for immediately working to attend to the two victims while also ensuring the safety of those who were on campus attending. First home football game NccU police at the surface parking lot between Dupri Street and Lawson Avenue responded within seconds of hearing the gunshots close by their quick response, save lives and protected our students, faculty and staff fans and guests who was still assembled in the Ocala Redick Stadium. After the lockdown for the stadium and surrounding area was lifted. NccU police and Durham police were meticulous and personally escorting individuals who parked in the parking deck to their cars. Over the course of three hours you will hear more about the incident from chief Williams momentarily. He would also correct information regarding the exact location of this tragic incident. While unforeseen tragedies such as these occurred, this one took place too close to the heart of north Carolina Central University where our students leave and learn violence of any kind anywhere is unquestionable. Yeah. Over the past three years We have invested more than $3 million dollars instead of the art security technology on our campus. More than 900 360° cameras. I've been installed in buildings and all around the campus. We have many blue lights all around the campus. We've restored card key entry for all of our buildings. Procter alarms and more personality patrol all corners of the university. These investments have yielded positive results and quickly investigating and solving Incidentally and closing cases. The S. E. C. U. Police department is vigilant and uses a multi level approach to campus safety and security including foot bike segue and the vehicle. A patrol of the campus interior an exterior perimeter. They regularly conduct training exercises throughout the academic here with our emergency response and emergency management teams as well as with the city and county emergency entities which proved valuable on saturday. However, what we cannot control our crimes on the street of europe and around the perimeter of our campus that impact our campus such as the event. On saturday. We are a public institution and an open campus. We cannot close up our campus university with iron fences and gates. This press conference is a call to action. We are pleading with our city county instead officials to commit to devoting more resources and attention to combating the issues of crime in Durham so that the lives of those on our campus, in the neighborhoods around us and the larger Durham community can be protected. This is a matter of health and sift for our students, faculty staff and the residents of Dora. We will not live in fear or have our health and well being at risk due to gun violence and crying around our community. It has to stop today. As chancellor, I lead the charge to stand up for and safeguard our students and all members of our community as well as visitors and guests that are coming to our campus saturday's incident should not be repeated anywhere in our city. I ask that our public sector partners join us in this fight to protect Nccu And in your own community. Durham is a vibrant community and the safety of its citizens should be a matter of utmost priority. I am happy at this time to present Chief of Police Chief Damon Williams who would speak. And then of course after you've heard all of the presentations, we will take a few questions from the press. Once again, we want to thank you for taking the time to come here today. Thank you. Yeah, chief. Mhm. So, good afternoon everybody. One of the first things I want to do is praise the officers and first responders who responded to this incident on saturday. Our partners here in Durham during Police Department, uh the Durham Tech Police Department and the Duke University Police Department for assistance in this matter. Before I speak, I'm going to turn it over to the Durham City Police Department to provide a statement and then I'll come back to the microphone. Good afternoon. I'm Lieutenant Geneva's minor with the Durham Police Departments, Public Affairs Unit and I'm here to introduce major walter Tate of our investigative service bureau. He will be briefing you on the homicide investigation that occurs saturday September 18 in the 700 block of East Lawson Street. We will be discussing this case only and will not be discussing any additional cases at this time. Make you think, Yeah, good afternoon. During Police Department, we're investigating a fatal shooting that happened saturday Night in the 700 block of east los of ST also responded to the sound of gunshots in the parking lot adjacent to Latham parking day on the campus of north Carolina Central University Shortly after nine pm on saturday. When they arrived. Excuse me. When we arrived, We found two men who had been shot. The men identified as Shamari Brown, 21 Kentavious Rose 18, both of Durham were taken to a local hospital where they died a short time later. Based on our preliminary investigation. The suspect vehicle is described as a black nissan ultima and the incident does not appear to be random. This case remains under investigation and there are no further details available at this time. Anyone with information is actually called Investigator Mitchell at 919 560 44 40 extension 29335. Our crime stoppers at (919) 683 1200. Crime stoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrest in felony cases case. Excuse me. And callers never have to be identified. Thank you. So some of the things that we want to clear up that I think have been mis recorded uh, is a specific location of the incident is, isn't it occurred not in our parking deck, but on our open parking surface lot between Dupri and Lawson street. I think there's been some confusion about where this had taken place. Uh, and so I wanted to make sure that we clarify that uh for your presence also, major Tate said this was uh not a random act, we don't believe to be. So I do want to say that the university Police Department along with our partners here in Durham have taken great measures to ensure the safety of the students on North Island State University's campus. About the Chancellor said we made heavy investments in ensuring that our students have a safe environment uh to come to learn live and play. So uh there was some questions also about the stadium and if the individuals in the stadium were put in any danger no time, of course. But we wanted to do it first was recognized that we had a situation occurring and we wanted to keep those patrons in our stadium safe. We did go into a short lockdown while we conducted a search for the individuals that may have been involved in this process. Uh We asked everybody to shelter in place until we can clear the area and ensure that everybody was safely return to their vehicle. Working with during Police Department. I think that night, the cooperation in a spirit of cooperation to ensure that everyone was safe and everyone left campus safely was truly known. So I want to really reach out to them and thank them for all the resources that they assisted us in providing once again, the Durham Police Department going to be taking the activist leading an investigation and we don't want to impunity, compromise, anything dealing with that. So we're gonna provide details as they come out at a later date. Perfect. Mhm. Stop. Let me greetings everyone. I am Derek Stanfield student body president for the 2021 22 academic year here at nccu. It is with a heavy heart that I join you all today. Before I begin on behalf of our student body. I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family members of those involved in the tragic incident that took place on saturday as a member of the Darryl community. I also pray for the safety of everyone in our community, saturday's occurrence is reflective of the growing issue of violence in the city of Durham and its overflow or to our campus. I'm confident in our universe is commitment to ensuring the safety of the members of our university community. The Student Government association will continue to support and assist the efforts of university police to provide a safe environment for all of our students. To learn. Our students would like to. Our students would like to assist the city of Durham in their efforts, their continued efforts in these efforts and to help foster a safer environment for asking this. I would also like to commend the first responders along with the city of Durham for their instant action in regard to the incident that took place on campus. So at this time we will open it up for a few questions. If you can raise your hand to be acknowledged. Yes and identify your station. Hi There. Loren Thompson spectrum is one. What? Thanks if there any information, um let me assure you that the first thing that we did was to ascertain that the victims and the assailant, we're not nccU students and of course they were not also not patrons at the football game because the the rest of us were in the stadium. Actually look down while this was going on. Now, I cannot speak to the identity of the victim or the asylum, but I can let them the Chief of Police address that. Yeah. So due to the nature the current investigation, that information is not available at this time. Yeah. Hi Sara Krueger with WRL, we've been hearing that, you know, you mentioned there are many surveillance cameras on campus. We've been hearing that there have been some problems with them and that they are not always working. Can you comment on if the cameras in this area we're working and if so what they were able to capture if it will be an assistance to the investigation? Well, let me first correct the assumption that the cameras aren't working. We spend $3 million dollars on this technology and they work perfectly as a matter of fact, within minutes of the incident, the reason why they were able to identify the car that was involved in the shooting was because of one of the cameras installed in the left and pack and deck. It worked very well. And they were able to identify that car very well. So it's paying dividends for us. Okay. If I could, I think some clarity is that question is this is that we provide access to some locations around campus so that they can see those areas, but they do not have total access. So the assumption sometimes is that the cameras are not working while not working, but those cameras all feed into a central network. Yeah. Right. Fantastic. Do you talk about resources from the city and the county can do it well? Um, in the past, we've met with city officials with our student body, some members of our community and we've, we've provided some resources that we believe will be helpful to these communities. one of such is the shark spotter that we asked them to install around the university. This is a technology that's been used in many other urban cities across the country across the country. And we know that nothing is a panacea for everything. But we believe that that would happen for the identification of those who are communities, uh, hideous crimes. And that yet Is to be determined. We're still working with the city on that. That's one we've also been grateful to have the, the city of Durum to engage in an mou with us. That now gives, uh, campus police department some control of some of the streets that are, you know, in the perimeter of our campus so that we can actually respond faster and quickly entered the scene on this apartment street. But there are so many other resources such as put in more for sure uh in this area, come on and of course putting phones in the community and uh surrounding the university to create jobs and educate people who may be involved in activities that we don't approve and encourage. So these are people who know what to do. And we have pleaded and we have submitted items to them before, and so we would love to see them become more engaged, more proactive and pay attention to the needs of our community. Mhm. Yeah. Uh what some of the reaction from it's inherent of the MTV. You have you received any questions about the security? Well, because of the rapid response that we had on saturday due to these uh wonderful officers, um There was no one within the stadium and on campus uh that was in danger. And so we put out uh noticed through our communication office immediately to the students and to the staff and to family and friends that the campus is safe and as such, we didn't get any uh you know, reactions or responses from my community Seven. Yes. So of course we take the feedback about students highly with in high regard, one of the things that we're gonna do this, because we're gonna do some town hall talks. We have discussed it with our students. We want to hear what they think uh and what's on their mind. And we also want to share with them the facts, because there's a lot of things going around on social media, but not factual. So as we have no discussion, we're gonna be open, we want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly, and we want to address those without students. Give them a chance to to hear how the response went, what happened? What are we doing to be proactive on this campus? How are we being safe? And we've already started that process and what we hear from our students is that they they see us engaged on a daily basis. Um they see the officers, I don't put they engage them in the residence hall, so they know that we take their safety very seriously. Uh it is our number one goal. We see ourselves as the guardians of the nest and it takes all of us to keep this campus safe. So we're going to engage in this week, we're gonna have some great discussion, We're gonna have some great dialogue. Um we even go out just last week, we were out with students during a safety campus tour. Uh we rode around campus and look for areas that are dark and and that present dangerous to them. Um so we can repair those things day and night, so we're constantly engaged and so we want to give them that avenues to share their concerns and also hear the facts from the police department switch day at that time. They're going to be scheduled throughout the week, throughout the week and they'll be done more in a more intimate setting with the students can uh add a little bit about the student reaction. Uh, one thing that we champion here as chief Williams said is campus safety and at no point during the incident where students out of the loop due to the amount of notifications that were given about the constant updates and everything that was occurring uh there of course was a level of shop being that it occurred so close to home and then such an untimely manner. But we're in support of university police and their commitment to our safety here. We look forward to those town halls as well, cheap. Yeah, no, and then chancellor, as you probably know, there was another shooting this afternoon that's right across the street from the communications building, not on campus, but certainly right beside it. So it, you know, feeling like this is now happening more often and wanted to see if you could react to the latest news of today's shooting as well. What I would say to you is really simply reemphasize the comments that I've made about the safety on campus safety around the streets, the perimeters of the campus, the particular event that you are responding to um now in the hands of the Durham police and I don't have anything to say to it again. This is not an event that happened on our campus and before we will be closing. But before we do close I would like to acknowledge another member of north Carolina central University leadership team who is with us and that is Mr kula johnson Matheson who serves as Vice chancellor for administration and Finance. So thank you all for coming. If anyone needs spelling titles please let me know and I will give you that information. Thank thank you so much. Senate Minor, keep smelling the victim. Seems I'm about to read. Uh huh. Mhm. Okay. That's it, headline releases. Yeah. Having. Yeah. No first. Yeah. Mhm. Yeah, sure.