Former Savannah student recounts terrifying three hours inside UNCC during shooting

Former Savannah student recounts terrifying three hours inside UNCC during shooting

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Friday night - three days after a shooter opened fire on a college campus in North Carolina, investigators released the 911 calls made during the chaos.

Two people were killed, and four others were injured. The 22-year-old suspected shooter is facing several charges, including two counts of murder. Police say he had a pistol when he walked into a classroom at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and began shooting.

Some of the calls may be disturbing. Police changed the voice of the callers to protect their identities.

Operator: “Have you heard any more shooting going on outside?”

Caller: “I haven’t heard the shooting, but I’ve heard the people screaming. Me and my friends we ran. We’re hiding.”

Caller: “Was there a shooting confirmed?”

Operator: “It does appear that way, yes.”

This scenario was playing out for thousands of students on the Charlotte campus, Tuesday night, including Taylor Holland, who is a graduate student there and a former student at Savannah Christian Preparatory School.

WTOC spoke with Taylor and her family Friday night. Her loved ones told us about the frightening conversation with their daughter that they thought would be their last.

“We’re very close, and she calls 50 times a day."

Julie Holland’s daughter called Tuesday night as Julie was on her way to meet her husband for dinner.

WTOC: “Did you ever think you would answer the phone and hear that on the other line?”

Julie: “Never. It’s a parents worst nightmare, obviously.”

The phone call lasted less than 30 seconds, and Julie didn’t even get a word in.

“I called her, and I was like trying to be as calm as I could..." she said.

“Mom, I’m at school. There’s an active shooter at our school, and I don’t know what’s going to happen. We are running for cover. I just want to let you know, if anything happens, I love you,’ and click.”

Taylor was at the front of her classroom presenting a final project for her Human Health Organizations class when an active shooter alert flashed across their projector.

Taylor spoke with WTOC via FaceTime, and told us about the terrifying three hours. She thought she was walking onto campus to give her final presentation for her first year of graduate school.

“At that point, we didn’t know how much time had passed since the shooting had started, what building he was in...we didn’t know if he was still actively shooting, how many people there were, so we were all just frantic," she said.

Taylor’s worst nightmare was also starting. As they ran to close their classroom door, they found out their door wouldn’t lock. They decided to run up two floors and hide inside their teacher’s office.

“I kicked my heels off, and I just remember I had no shoes when I got there. We just took off running. We didn’t know if he was in the building. We were trying to be as fast as we could.”

They were locked away in a small office for nearly three hours. Meanwhile, all of the students, including Taylor, were sending texts to their loved ones, not knowing if it would be their last. Three days later, the Holland family is still in shock, but thankful.

“They have final exams starting Monday, so she’ll be back at school. I hope that doesn’t affect her, but I know it will. I don’t know how it couldn’t for all of the students.”

“I hope that they implement some type of safety precautions moving forward. Like I said, the door wouldn’t lock in our classroom, which is a major issue," Taylor said.

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