Manager who was threatened with gun at UNC bagel cafe recovering; Employees thankful for him

Tom George Image
Friday, September 15, 2023
Manager threatened with gun at UNC bagel shop doing well
Jason Carpenter managed to keep calm while he and his co-workers were being threatened.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- We're learning more about the man behind the counter at the student union as a suspect pulled out a gun prompting a lockdown on UNC's campus.

Jason Carpenter managed to keep calm while he and his co-workers were being threatened. Thankfully no shots were fired.

The Alpine Bagel shop remained closed Thursday as the rest of campus reopened.

Some students inside when the gun incident happened recall the scary moment.

"When you see a gun your brain just immediately flashes back right into those moments of fear that we had earlier," says Mollie McMullan, a freshman at UNC.

Just feet away was the store's general manager Jason Carpenter, who says the suspect, whom police have identified as Mickel Harris, came in angry about his girlfriend having been fired, and then told Jason "I'll blow your head off" before pulling out a gun.

Jason says he and his co-workers were able to get away safely. Jason didn't want to go on camera but said he's doing okay.

A colorful character and fixture at the store for years, Jason was even featured in UNC's campus newsletter for proposing to a co-worker in 2021 with an assist from actor Anthony Anderson from ABC's Black-ish.

Thursday, students wishing their friend well.

"This place is popular it's always packed and he's got a huge job and thank him for what he did yesterday," says UNC senior Jakob Cisco.

And while it might be tough for a while, students and Jason are not letting fear stop them.

"Life has to go on but it's hard when all you can think about constantly when you're thinking about an event like that so I wish him the best I truly do," says McMullan.

The Alpine Bagel store could open as soon as Friday.

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