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On August 28, 2023, there was a shooting on UNC-Chapel Hill’s main campus, resulting in the fatality of a member of our faculty. A comprehensive review of the University’s response to the incident is underway and expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2024. This page provides information and updates on the University’s incident related response activity as well as relevant resources for the campus community through completion of the review. Emergency Management and Planning is managing this process.

Post-Incident Review Updates

May 16, 2024
As announced in December, the University engaged an independent agency, CNA Corporation, to help analyze the incident and response, and provide recommendations to inform the University’s emergency response plans moving forward. CNA has completed its work and provided the University with a comprehensive after-action report of those findings and recommendations. The executive summary of that report highlights the findings and recommendations identified by the independent review.

Feb. 19
Phase Three of the review process is currently in progress. During this phase, a preliminary after-action report is being developed. This report will specifically concentrate on identifying findings and providing recommendations for improvement based on best practices and comprehensive root-cause analysis of the incident.
Jan. 11
Phase Two of the review process is underway, which includes comprehensive data analysis and interviews. The efforts in Phase Two are aimed at gathering insights from key stakeholder groups to ensure a thorough understanding of the incident. Interviews will be conducted with representatives from the following stakeholder groups:

  • Police and Public Safety
  • Emergency Coordination
  • Communications
  • Campus Stakeholders (students, faculty, staff, etc.)
  • Campus Behavioral Health and Counseling
Dec. 15
The University officially initiated the incident after-action review (AAR) on Dec. 15. The process is being led by the CNA Corporation, an independent, nonprofit research and analysis organization. The review will be conducted in four phases and completed before the end of the spring 2024 semester.

  • Phase One: Pre-planning and Data Collection
  • Phase Two: AAR Process (interviews and data analysis)
  • Phase Three: AAR Report Generation (develop draft after-action report)
  • Phase Four: AAR Closeout (finalize report and present to campus leadership)
Dec. 1
Executive Summary for Aug. 28 Incident Feedback Portal

Incident-Related Communications

Aug. 31
Vigil honors “a life well lived”
Aug. 30
Message from Chancellor Guskiewicz
7:30 p.m. Aug. 30
Community Vigil to Remember Zijie Yan
1:02 p.m. Aug. 30
The Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower rang in Yan’s memory
Aug. 29
Message from University leadership
Aug. 29
Message from Chancellor Guskiewicz
5:15 p.m. Aug. 29
The Asian American Center hosted a webinar so that the campus community could reflect on and talk about the tragedy.
7:55 p.m. Aug. 29
General Alumni Association message from President Veronica Mora Flaspoehler ’08
4:08 p.m. Aug. 29
Statement from UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees:

David L. Boliek Jr., chair of the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, issued the following statement Tuesday on behalf of the board:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Yan family, especially his two young children, and our faculty, staff and students. The Board of Trustees stands in support of recovery efforts as the campus community finds its way forward. We are committed to providing the necessary resources to the professionals on campus who provide mental health and other support services to the university community, as well as public safety efforts to support and keep the campus safe.

“We want to thank Chief James, our entire public safety team and the other law enforcement agencies who followed the plan and moved swiftly and decisively to secure the scene and restore safety and order to our campus. This is a time for healing and solidarity, and we remain committed to both.”

3:55 p.m. Aug. 29
Statement from UNC Board of Governors:

Randy Ramsey, chair of the UNC System Board of Governors, issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon on Zijie Yan’s death:

“The scholars and staff on our campuses are devoted public servants, and they do important work on behalf of all North Carolinians. The death of Dr. Zijie Yan is a deep loss to those who knew him, to the institution he served and to the entire state.

“On behalf of the Board of Governors, I want to thank the countless men and women from across the UNC System and our state and federal law enforcement partners who rushed to offer aid and sympathy in the aftermath of yesterday’s awful events. We stand in support of our friends and colleagues at Carolina.”

12:45 p.m. Aug. 29
UNC Police Media Release – Carolina mourns the loss of Zijie Yan, faculty member in the Department of Applied Physical Sciences:

The Carolina community mourns the loss of Zijie Yan, an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ applied physical sciences department who was killed in yesterday’s on-campus shooting. Yan worked for the University since 2019. The University is in contact with Yan’s family and is providing resources and support.

Tailei Qi, the graduate student suspected in yesterday’s shooting, has been charged by the UNC Police Department with first-degree murder and possession of a weapon on educational property, both felony charges. He is being held at the Orange County Jail without bail.

Aug. 29
Press Briefing
Aug. 28
Press Briefing
Aug. 28
Message from Chancellor Guskiewicz
August 2023 Notifications Archive

Aug. 29, 2023

  • 3:37 p.m. Adverse Conditions: Critical-Condition 3 continuing until 11:59 p.m. 8/30. Classes cancelled. Non-mandatory operations suspended.
  • 3:23 p.m. Adverse Conditions: Critical-Condition 3 continuing until 11:59 p.m. 8/30. Classes cancelled. Non-mandatory operations suspended.
  • 10:36 a.m. Adverse Conditions: University Operating under Condition 3 until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday night
  • 8:47 a.m. Information: Update – University Operating Status (Condition 3) and Resources

Aug. 28, 2023

  • 6:58 p.m. Adverse Conditions – Critical: UNC-Chapel Hill to operate at Condition 2 on Aug. 29. Classes canceled. All non-mandatory operations suspended.
  • 4:26 p.m. UNC Issues All Clear. Classes canceled remainder of the day. Avoid Caudill Labs
  • 4:14 p.m. Emergency: UNC issues All Clear
  • 3:14 p.m. Emergency – Update: Stay sheltered in place until all clear. All classes & events cancelled for today.
  • 2:25 p.m. Emergency – Update: Remain sheltered in place. This is an ongoing situation. Suspect at large.
  • 1:03 p.m. Emergency: Police report an Armed and Dangerous Person On or Near Campus

Support Resources

  • Carolina’s Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) is a mental health provider for students and post-doctoral fellows. CAPS provides initial assessments, brief therapy, group therapy, medication management and support for therapy referrals for off-campus providers. The Multicultural Health Program provides culturally responsive mental health support and services and works to decrease mental health stigma.
    • Call CAPS 24/7 at 919-966-3658
    • Call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988
    • Text START to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741
  • The Alert Carolina Emergency Notification System communicates to the campus community and general public through multiple channels in the event of an emergency or dangerous situation.
    • UNC-Chapel Hill affiliates with an ONYEN can register their cell phone to receive emergency text messages.
    • Download the Carolina Ready Safety App or the CarolinaGO app to receive Alert Carolina messages.
    • Follow @AlertCarolina on X and opt to receive notifications through the X app.
    • Visit the Alert Carolina website for notifications and updates.
  • Heels Care Network provides mental health and wellness resources for the Carolina community by helping find support groups, learn strategies for mental health, connect with trainings and advocacy organizations and find wellness events on campus. The Mental Health Resource Hub filter helps search and connect to resources based on individual needs.
  • Campus Health provides specialty, primary and urgent care services to students, postdoctoral researchers and their spouses/partners.
  • The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a free confidential counseling and resource program that is designed to help University employees and their families deal with both personal and work-related concerns.
  • The Alert Carolina Emergency Notification System communicates to the campus community and general public through multiple channels in the event of an emergency or dangerous situation.
    • UNC-Chapel Hill affiliates with an ONYEN can register their cell phone to receive emergency text messages.
    • Download the Carolina Ready Safety App or the CarolinaGO app to receive Alert Carolina messages.
    • Follow @AlertCarolina on X and opt to receive notifications through the X app.
    • Visit the Alert Carolina website for notifications and updates.
  • Heels Care Network provides mental health and wellness resources for the Carolina community by helping find support groups, learn strategies for mental health, connect with trainings and advocacy organizations and find wellness events on campus. The Mental Health Resource Hub filter helps search and connect to resources based on individual needs.
  • The Alert Carolina Emergency Notification System communicates to the campus community and general public through multiple channels in the event of an emergency or dangerous situation.
    • UNC-Chapel Hill affiliates with an ONYEN can register their cell phone to receive emergency text messages.
    • Download the Carolina Ready Safety App or the CarolinaGO app to receive Alert Carolina messages.
    • Follow @AlertCarolina on X and opt to receive notifications through the X app.
    • Visit the Alert Carolina website for notifications and updates.
  • Heels Care Network provides mental health and wellness resources for the Carolina community by helping find support groups, learn strategies for mental health, connect with trainings and advocacy organizations and find wellness events on campus. The Mental Health Resource Hub filter helps search and connect to resources based on individual needs.
  • New Student & Family Programs provide family members resources to keep informed and involved in the campus community.
For general campus safety support and resources, visit the Carolina Ready website.