CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A day after what the school’s chancellor called the “worst day in the history of UNCC,” many UNC Charlotte students said they were in shock that a mass shooting could happen on their campus.
UNCC freshman Rebecca Ince was in the library Tuesday evening when she was notified there was an active shooter situation. She ran with dozens of other students toward the student union -- though at first, she only walked.
FULL COVERAGE: UNC CHARLOTTE TRAGEDY
"This large group comes in the door screaming 'Don't go in Kennedy. There's a shooter he's wearing black. You gotta get out of here.' I was like this can't be happening," Ince said. "This is probably some sick last day of school prank."
She came to realize the threat was real after getting an alert to her phone about an active shooter. Once Ince and the group of students she was with made it to the student center, officials told them to find a dark room and hide.
She and eight other girls huddled together in an office space for nearly an hour. When they were first in the room, Ince said a woman with a clipboard asked them if anyone had active shooter training.
"She gave us a quick rundown and showed us how to barricade the door," Ince said. "So we put chairs, cases of water, a heavy binder and a box to kind of make sure there was no way -- at least it would buy us time if the door did move. So we just waited and texted our friends and our family."
At one point, Ince said, they joined hands to pray.
“Everybody was willing so we all gathered and God’s presence was seriously in that room,” Ince said. “We just knew that we were protected and we just acknowledged the presence of God and we just knew we were going to be fine.”
Fine -- in the short term. But the longer term healing will take time, Ince said.
"(We need) to have community and be able to talk things out because it's going to take some time to heal," she said.
Ince added in the midst of the chaos Tuesday, a lot of students realized they do not know what "Run, Hide, Fight" means such as how should they fight back. She said she hopes administrators will address this in the weeks to come.
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