'You need to lock the campus down': New 911 call released in deadly UNC-Chapel Hill shooting

BySamantha Kummerer WTVD logo
Friday, September 1, 2023
New 911 call released in UNC shooting
The ABC11 I-Team obtained the 911 call that alerted the UNC Chapel-Hill campus that there was an active shooter.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The I-Team with our sister station, ABC11 in Raleigh, North Carolina, obtained the 911 call that alerted the UNC Chapel Hill campus that there was a shooter on campus.

The call details the minutes after shots were fired in the Caudill Labs on Monday afternoon.

A woman is heard pleading with a 911 operator to alert the campus of the threat.

"You need to lock the campus down. I see students walking past this building left and right. I don't know where he went from," the caller told 911.

In the background, you can hear her urging nearby people to get inside and stay safe.

"Close the doors and stay inside -- there is an active shooter," the caller said.

The woman immediately told operators the suspect's identity.

"I know who the student is and she spelled his name. His name is Tailei Qi. T-a-i-l-e-I, Q-i and he has a gun, and he's on campus," the caller said.

Qi is charged with killing Dr. Zijie Yan, his academic group leader and an associate professor at the university.

For whom the bell tolls: UNC Chapel Hill Bell Tower rings to remember faculty member Dr. Zijie Yan killed by Tailei Qi in Caudill Laboratories

The caller even told them that Qi was wearing a gray shirt and carrying a short gun; she directed the dispatcher to Qi's photo on UNC's website.

The school has confirmed it sent the first campus-wide alert of an "armed and dangerous" person at 1:03 p.m. More than three hours later, at 4:14 p.m. campus police issued an all-clear.

In the days after the shooting, students questioned the school's alert protocols and communication during the lockdown. UNC Police Chief Brian James stated during a news conference that they followed all the protocols.

The university's chancellor and chief of police answer questions about the investigation and response to the deadly shooting that happened Monday.