Responding Officer Gives Details About UNC Charlotte Shooting
CHARLOTTE, NC – Sgt. Richard Gundacker was the first officer inside Kennedy Hall moments after the shooting on the UNC Charlotte campus.
“I was glad I was able to do what I was trained to do,” said Gundacker.
He’s been in law enforcement for 25 years. He’s spent a number of years with the New York Police Department Emergency Services Unit before moving to the Charlotte area and joining the UNC Charlotte police department.
“A lot of training. I’ve been prepared for this mentally in my head,” said Gundacker.
He says when he got to the scene and saw students running out of Kennedy Hall, the reality of the situation set in.
In a Facebook post to his old unit, Gundacker gave some details about what he saw once inside. Writing that the gunman blended in with the other students.
“The shooter actually secreted himself with the victims next to the young deceased Male, ” wrote Gundacker. “The gun was slidelocked next to him so there was nothing I could do, but go at him with my hands.”
“When you’re going into a situation like this, your adrenaline is going to be up there,” explained CMPD Officer Johnathan Frisk.
Frisk teaches active shooter training.
“We want to go in there and we want to save lives,” said Frisk.
He says keeping composure is the most important thing for officers, like Gundacker responding to an active shooter call.
“Your heart rate is going up, but you have to remember that controlled breathing. It’s very important to get you through that situation,” explained Frisk.
Gundacker says he doesn’t like being called a hero for what he did. When asked about Riley Howell, the student who police say gave his life to save others, Gundacker said he was “proud” of him.