CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The teacher in the classroom where Tuesday’s shooting occurred on the campus of UNC Charlotte is shedding new light on the attack.
Adam Johnson is an instructor in UNC Charlotte’s Department of Anthropology. Eyewitness News anchor Allison Latos spoke to him by phone and learned he has been teaching at the school for the past two years and did his graduate school work at UNCC, as well.
Johnson wrote a post called "The Story of a Mass Shooting Survivor and Anthropologist," which provides new details about the shooting.
In the post, Johnson said the alleged shooter was registered for the course but withdrew in January.
"Early in the semester, the shooter is engaged with the course material. They ask questions about the lessons, answer questions that I pose to the class. It was completely typical," Johnson wrote.
He also described a brief interaction they had after his withdrawal.
"I run into the shooter on campus shortly after (I am guessing either late January or VERY early February) and conveyed that it was a shame that they had to leave the course but I understood. It is important to prioritize. That was the last time I saw the shooter," Johnson wrote.
Johnson wrote about the moments leading up to Tuesday's shooting. He said the class was about seven minutes into a final presentation video when "without warning, earsplitting bangs ring throughout the room, off the glass walls, creating a terrible reverberation."
He said students began to run.
"I stood up and kicked the chair I was sitting in away from the walkway and move towards the door, ushering students in that direction," he wrote. "I make it to the door, out the door and hold it open for the rushing students. One student falls down in the door way and is stepped on, I pick them up and move them back with the flow of traffic."
He said he and some of his students ran to an office in the anthropology department and shut the door. Johnson wrote that the chair of the department called 911, while he gave him information about the location of the shooting.
“The students that I have in the room with me are expressing different emotional responses: crying, disbelief, shock… Most their things were left in the classroom and so some did not even have their phones to call family, The chair and I made ours available,” he wrote.
Johnson said he was able to get a better idea of what happened after speaking with survivors. He wrote it was all over in a matter of seconds.
"One student tackled the shooter and undoubtedly saved more lives. They are an absolute hero. The shooter emptied the magazine, laid the gun down, and sat on the ground," he wrote. "One victim asked the shooter to stop shooting and they said 'I’m done.'”
You can read Johnson's full post by clicking here.
Soon after the shooting, Johnson went to a local hospital to be with some of the students who were wounded. He said the class that was meeting in the Kennedy building – where he’s done pretty much all of his teaching and TA work – is a liberal studies class titled “Anthropology and the Philosophy of Science.”
Cox Media Group