UPDATE: UNC Asheville Campus Lockdown Lifted

Oct 9, 2020

(UPDATE 7:30 p.m.) - The shelter in place order at UNC Asheville has been lifted, almost 12 hours after it went into place.  There will be an increased law enforcement presence on campus however following threats that were emailed to the school Friday morning over a Black Lives Matter mural on campus.

The order was lifted at 7 p.m. Friday.  In a video statement, UNC Asheville Chancellor Dr. Nancy Cable said the move was made after consultation with law enforcement at the federal, state and local levels.  Cable said in addition to campus police, the Asheville police department, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the FBI all worked with the school, and determined that the threat to the campus is no longer valid 'at this time.'

The threats were emailed to the university overnight, and and 7:30 Friday morning the shelter in place order went into effect.  Giving details for the first time about the threats, Cable said Friday night they did not threaten any specific individual.  Several offices at the school received 'direct threats to members of the UNC Asheville community' unless a Black Lives Matter mural on University Heights was painted over.  The investigation into who sent them continues.

(UPDATE 5:30 p.m.) - UNC Asheville leaders have yet to lift a 'shelter in place' order ten hours after it was issued Friday.  The university received threats over a Black Lives Matter mural painted on campus.

The first alert to students, faculty, and staff came at 7:30 Friday morning.  Anyone on campus was asked to shelter in place, and classes, practices, and activities were canceled for the day.  About an hour later, an alert from the office of Chancellor Dr. Nancy Cable said several university offices received via email 'direct threats to members of the UNC Asheville community' unless a Black Lives Matter mural on University Heights was painted over.  No other details about the threats have been released.  The last alert issued from the school just after 5 p.m. Friday said UNC Asheville police are working with multiple law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, and local levels to investigate the threats.

Out of an abundance of caution, Asheville City Schools instituted 'perimeter' lockdowns at four of its schools, and canceled athletic workouts at Asheville High School and SILSA.  Students at the four schools were dismissed on time, and all Asheville City school buildings were closed at 4 p.m. Friday.

(UPDATE 2:30 p.m.) - The campus of UNC Asheville will remain under a 'shelter in place' order until further notice after the university received threats over a Black Lives Matter mural painted on campus.

At 1:50 Friday afternoon, an alert was issued from the office of Chancellor Dr. Nancy Cable saying the shelter in place order will stay in effect until further notice as campus police and other law enforcement agencies continue to investigate.  Earlier Friday, Cable's office said several university offices received 'direct threats to members of the UNC Asheville community' unless a Black Lives Matter mural on University Heights was painted over.

No details of the exact threats have been given.  Classes, practices, and activities on campus have been canceled for the day, and only essential staff were asked to report.  All others are asked to stay away from campus.

This story will be updated.  Earlier version below.

The campus of UNC Asheville is on a lockdown Friday morning after an email threat, which demanded a Black Lives Matter mural on campus be painted over.

The alert to students, faculty, and staff went out at 7:30 a.m. Friday.  About an hour later, an email from the office Chancellor Dr. Nancy Cable said several offices at the university received 'direct threats to members of the UNC Asheville community' unless the Black Lives Matter mural on University Heights was painted over.  All classes, in-person and virtual, plus practices and activities are canceled for the day.  Only essential staff are asked to report to campus today, and those who are on-campus are asked to shelter in place until further notice.