UNC Charlotte professor’s quick actions saved lives during shooting

Updated: May. 1, 2019 at 6:56 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A UNC Charlotte professor is being called a hero after his actions during a deadly shooting on campus. Professor Adam Johnson, who was teaching an Anthropology class when the shooter entered the room, did not hesitate to react.

Johnson quickly shifted into survival mode and led some students out of the classroom to safety right before calling 911.

Professor Johnson is a man who students adore. His students say he’s not the typical teacher by any means because he’s always finding unique ways to keep their attention. Most importantly they know he cares about them even after they leave the classroom.

“He’s very personable. He does what he can...he does what he can for us,” said UNCC senior Kellie Gamble.

Gamble wasn’t in the room during the shooting but is one of his anthropology students. Just like the rest of the campus, she said it’s painful to think about the terrifying moments her professor and schoolmates were going through at the time of the shooting.

“We’re all going through disbelief... upset and hurt, angry and people are afraid,” said Gamble.

Even after being front and center of the most traumatic thing to ever happen at UNCC. Professor Johnson wasn’t thinking about himself, it’s his students that were his main concern. An email he sent to all of them states, “I am devastated to be writing you in this context. As many of you likely know, there was a shooting in my class today. I am unhurt but some of my students did not make it. You all are the world to me. I do what I do for you.”

He goes on to says in bold letters,“Please do not complete any further assignments for me for the rest of the semester. I will take care of it.”

“I think that it’ll hurt him a lot, but I think he’ll be the one to get through it and, if anything, make a change,” said Gamble.

The Anthropology department also sent out an email to the students saying Professor Johnson did exactly the right thing at the right time.

“I think it definitely did help that he has that frame of mind to save others and make sure everyone else can get out,” Gamble continued.

People who are tied to the Anthropology department say Professor Johnson is really one the greats. They’ll be having to say goodbye to him soon because this is his last semester at UNCC. He just accepted another teaching position in Arizona.

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