Updated at 8:30 p.m.

CHARLOTTE — UNCG baseball coach Link Jarrett answered his cell phone at 6:32 p.m. and spoke in hushed tones.

Jarrett, his team and the host UNC-Charlotte team were all sequestered inside the 49ers' indoor batting cage at Hayes Stadium. The university campus was locked down while police searched for a gunman who had killed two people and wounded four others about a quarter mile from the ballpark.

The coach did not know when he answered his phone that police had captured a suspect, 22-year-old UNCC student Trystan A. Terrell, a few minutes before.

"It's a tough situation around this area right now," Jarrett said. "We've been locked in the indoor batting cage for 30 or 40 minutes now, and I really don't know what's going on outside. We're all safe. But they don't want us to exit this building."

Not long afterward, UNCG's baseball team boarded a bus for home, the non-conference game canceled and an afterthought on a tragic day.

"Our team is safe," UNCG athletics director Kim Record said at 7:10 p.m. "You hurt for those people. You hurt for Charlotte and what they're going through. And it makes you realize that one of the best things about quick communication is also one of the worst things: Is this accurate information? How do you judge that in the moment? ... And how do you alert parents?"

Greg Hardison, a UNCG sophomore, was scheduled to lead off and play left field for the Spartans. His father, Greg, is a former East Carolina shortstop who lives in Greenville with his wife, Leigh Anda, and son Cameron. They intended to watch the game on a streaming service.

"He called me when they got on the bus (to leave)," the father said. "That's the first time I heard from him. He said, 'Hey Dad, we're fine; we're leaving.'

"As a parent, I'm 280 miles away," Hardison said. "All I wanted to do was watch the game and hope my kid performs well. Then, it's 'all right, is my kid safe?' And there's absolutely nothing I can do about it. ... It's a bad feeling when you know you can't do anything to protect your kid."

The shooting happened at Kennedy Hall, an administration building a short walk from the ballpark.

But Jarrett said he did not hear shots.

Still, he knew something was wrong.

"Their director of ops (Charlie Muchukot) came over with a really, really bad look on his face," Jarrett said. "He just said, 'Coach, you've got to get everybody with your team to the indoor building right now. Right now.' There were guys out in the bullpen, so we had to round everybody up and start running. I grabbed him and said, 'I need to know what's going on.' And that's when he told me, 'There is an active shooter in this area.'"

Word of the shootings spread quickly on social media. At 5:50 p.m. UNC-Charlotte's @NinerAlerts Twitter account posted the ominous message: "Shots reported near kennedy. Run, Hide, Fight. Secure yourself immediately." 

Jarrett and the players didn't get the Tweet. But they noticed helicopters in the sky nearby. They heard sirens from police and EMS vehicles.

Hardison said his son and the other players thought something had happened next door at Jerry Richardson Stadium, where the 49ers' football team plays and where a Waka Flocka Flame concert was scheduled to start at 6 p.m. on the last day of classes for UNCC students.

"There were two helicopters we saw about 10 minutes before anything alarming had happened," Jarrett said. "The helicopters were circling over an area I guess a little east of us. Obviously there was something going on, but it didn't occur to me that it would be this."

Then Muchukot approached, Jarrett said, and things happened fast.

"The guys had that panicked look on their faces," Jarrett said. "I mean, we've been evacuated before for weather, and we really had to scramble in those situations. But never anything like this. And as often, unfortunately, as you hear about these things now in our society, it's one of those moments that stops you. Is this really happening? Is this something you've read about that you're now experiencing firsthand?"

From his spot in the batting cage, Jarrett worried about the people outside.

"We were about to start the game. We were about 5 minutes away from first pitch," he said. "And it's two area teams, so there was a pretty good gathering of people in the stadium. Everybody was evacuated, sent to their cars, and the teams are in this building. Hopefully, everybody out there is OK."

In Greenville, Hardison worried and waited for his son's call.

"That makes me feel more relieved (he's safe) to know that it was that close," he said. "That's just too close for comfort."


Posted at 7 p.m.

CHARLOTTE — UNCG's baseball team was pulled off the field along with host UNC-Charlotte's team before the first pitch of their scheduled game this afternoon, and both teams were sequestered during the lockdown caused by a shooting on the campus.

UNCG head coach Link Jarrett said all the players were safe, but shaken up by the incident. The shooting happened about a quarter mile from Hayes Stadium, and TV station WSOC reports two people were killed and four injured.

Word spread quickly of an active shooter in the area of UNC-Charlotte's Kennedy Building, and at 5:50 p.m. the university's @NinerAlerts Twitter account posted the ominous message: "Shots reported near kennedy. Run, Hide, Fight. Secure yourself immediately." 

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Contact Jeff Mills at (336) 373-7024, and follow @JeffMillsNR on Twitter.

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