Residents of Scott, Holshouser and Hunt Halls awoke to blaring fire alarms and an immediate evacuation at 11 a.m. this morning. Students, faculty and staff waited under South Village Parking Deck for nearly two hours while campus police, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) and CMPD special units were deployed to the scene to assess the situation.
Around 1 p.m. the university issued an official statement. According to Dr. Arthur Jackson, vice chancellor of Student Affairs, a suspicious package was reported outside the rear entrance to Scott Hall at about 11 a.m. Scott Hall and its two near-by residence halls Holshouser and Hunt were subsequently evacuated as well.
Jackson reassured that all safety procedures and protocols were followed. After CMPD special units arrived at the scene, they found that the suspicious package was not an explosive device and the area was deemed safe.
According to freshman student Walker Stamey, who resides in Hunt Hall, “The fire alarms went off so I got dressed and went outside. People were saying it was a pipe bomb.”
Freshman roommates Shelby Hopkins, Britney Callahan, Tori Bonnell and Maris Almquist reported rumors of Instagram posts, claiming there was a suspicious package in a car near one of the buildings. They also reported that a UNC Charlotte staff member stated that police officials planned to detonate the suspicious package at around 11:30 a.m. which could create a clearly audible noise.
Students and staff were allowed to re-enter the buildings shortly before 1:00 p.m.
The incident created a slight inconvenience for students who were moving into their dorms during that time. Sophomore transfer student Liz Zrilanka had just set down her belongings in Scott Hall when the alarm was activated and was forced to evacuate with the rest of the building.
At 1:41 p.m., campus police sent out an email saying a suspicious object was found near Scott Hall near a dumpster. The police followed protocols related to suspicious devices by notifying CMPD, who in turn responded with their Bomb Unit.
Housing and Residence Life has also sent out an email commending the University staff that reported the object, as well as South Village and their families “for their cooperation, patience and understanding during this situation.”
The best thing to do in case of emergency is to get away from the danger area if possible and warn others. Remember that if you need to report suspicious actions or you or someone else is in danger to immediately contact Campus Police at 704-687-2200, or simply dialing 911.