Record freshman class moves into UNCW amid crime spree in New Hanover County

Freshmen are moving in to their housing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 18-19.
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 6:41 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A man who law enforcement says was involved in criminal incidents throughout Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach was fatally shot after exchanging fire with deputies and officers on Friday afternoon, according to District Attorney Ben David.

This all played out down the road from the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s freshman move-in day, where a record 2,500 freshmen, along with their parents and hundreds of volunteers, were unpacking dorm rooms for the year.

Many students and parents heard about the crime spree through social media, specifically a UNCW Snapchat group, while others were left unaware. With a history-making freshmen class, it was a hectic day on campus regardless of the violent scene in Wrightsville Beach and Market St.

UNCW freshmen Alyssa Moore had only just arrived on campus when the news of the shooting spread through the university.

“It’s not really what you want to hear on move-in day. I haven’t heard too much about it since I got the official alert, but that’s definitely pretty nerve-racking, being a student on the first-day move-in on campus.”

Parents had a similar reaction. Scott Clagett was dropping off his son at UNCW when his family heard the news.

“I am concerned being that it’s the day my son moved into the dorms, but we come down to Wilmington all the time and I know it’s a safe area. So, we feel very comfortable with our kid coming to school here,” Clagett said. “It’s just very unfortunate that we’re seeing shootings like this. But, I’m really not too concerned particularly here on campus.”

UNCW’s newest Seahawks will live in the residence halls, along with another 2,500 students, including a mic of upperclassmen, transfer students, and international and graduate students. The total number of new students enrolled for the fall semester tops 5,000.