The man was tracked to the school by Durham police late Monday after he took a bus to leave the scene of an earlier police response, university officials said in a statement. Campus officials locked down the school's buildings between 10:15 p.m. Monday and about 1 a.m. Tuesday.
NCCU police approached the suspect, but he fired a shotgun at an officer and NCCU police returned fire. The man then ran into a wooded area. A Durham Police dog tracked his location and authorities demanded that he surrender, ending about 45 minutes later in a second exchange of gunfire and the man's fatal wounds.
The man's name was not immediately released. University police said he was not a student.
Durham police spokeswoman Kammie Michael did not respond to messages from The Associated Press asking why police officers were pursuing the man. She referred questions to the school and the State Bureau of Investigation, which is reviewing the shooting.
SBI agents called in to help by campus police were working to confirm the dead man's identity, spokeswoman Jennifer Canada said.
The officers have been placed on administrative leave while the SBI investigates.
University Chancellor Debra Saunders-White said in an email to students, faculty and staff that the school would hold a meeting Tuesday to discuss the events.
North Carolina Central is part of the University of North Carolina system with an enrollment of more than 8,000 students. The historically black school opened in 1910.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.