A Difficult Night For Some At UNC Charlotte As Students Start Their Fall Semester

CHARLOTTE, NC. — A difficult night for some at UNC Charlotte as students started their fall semester classes. Many hadn’t been back since the campus tragedy that claimed two lives in April.

Among the hustle and bustle on campus were ‘Welcome’ signs on Monday. Signaling a new year and a fresh start, following the campus tragedy at the end of last semester.

“It could happen anywhere. It was one of those events you have to try and move on past it,” says UNC Charlotte student Daniel Garcia.

Riley Howell and Reed Parlier were killed and four others were hurt when a gunman opened fire inside here at the Kennedy Building.

One of the shooting survivors is Drew Pescaro. He attended his first class of the new semester Monday night. He tweeted in part:

“How far I’ve come from April 30, and I still don’t know if I’m ready for what’s ahead. But only way to find out is to keep moving forward. #NotAfraid.”

WCCB Charlotte’s Alexandra Elich sat down with shooting survivor Rami Al-Ramadhan last month.

“I realized that I have to be strong and to complete my career as a mechanical engineer at UNCC,” says Al-Ramadhan.

Some students say it’s an eerie feeling to walk past the Kennedy Building.

“It’s a little weird, it’s a little sad knowing what happened right there in it,” says UNC Charlotte Student Paris Daniels.

Chancellor Philip Dubois says when students return to school, they’ll see several safety changes:

-Enhanced police presence
-Surveillance towers
-Enhanced metal detectors at major events
-Enhanced active shooter training
-Additional safety information in classrooms

During the campus shooting, the university was able to lock the exterior doors on campus with the push of a bottom. Dubois says they’re looking into how they can do that for the doors inside buildings too.