Sources: UNCC shooting suspect referenced past school shooting in confession to police
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A source close to the deadly UNC-Charlotte shooting investigation told WBTV News, the suspected shooter, 22-year-old Trystan Terrell, referenced a past school shooting in his confession to police and had been planning some type of attack for months.
Terrell made a full confession to investigators, telling them he planned his attack and considered three locations but decided on UNCC, during his questioning at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police headquarters, according to sources.
Police sources say the shooter “researched" the Sandy Hook school shooting at length.
The suspect lives along the light rail and a police source tells WBTV he took the light rail to campus. Sources say he had a backpack with him and CMPD’s investigation will review every aspect of security cameras along the light rail route.
According to UNC Charlotte officials, Terrell enrolled at UNC Charlotte in Fall of 2018 and withdrew on Feb. 14, 2019. During Wednesday’s news conference, police referred to Terrell as a former student.
Sources say the shooting victims were chosen at random by the suspect with no intended target. Police sources say the gunman went to the shooting range to practice and had “at least 10 magazines."
WBTV News has also learned a student, who has since passed away, charged the shooter and tried to jump on the suspect, according to sources.
A release from UNC-Charlotte confirmed ‘with great sorrow’ the names of the students killed and injured in Tuesday’s shooting.
In a phone conversation with WBTV, Ross Pescaro, said his brother, Drew Pescaro, was injured during the shooting on the UNC Charlotte campus. Pescaro declined to issue any sort of statement, but asked for the community to pray for his brother.
Terrell, the suspected shooter, was charged with two counts of murder, four counts of attempted murder, four counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, possession of firearm on educational property and discharging firearm on educational property.
During a press conference Tuesday evening, campus police said once they got reports of a suspect armed with a pistol that had shot several students multiple officers immediately went into the building, disarmed the suspect and took him into custody.
“I can’t tell you the sadness of the entire community to know that a situation like this has occurred on our campus,” Baker said. “We are all pretty much devastated to know anything like this.”
“This is the saddest day in UNC Charlotte’s history," UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip L. Dubois said in a message in response to the shooting.
“The entire UNC Charlotte community shares the shock and grief of this senseless, devastating act. This was an attack on all of Niner Nation,” Dubois added. “The days ahead will be some of the most challenging we have ever encountered. All I can say for certain is that we will get through them together.”
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