This slain UNC Charlotte student rushed to stop the gunman and is now being hailed as a hero.
21-year-old Riley Howell was in his liberal studies class at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte on April 30 when a gunman barged in and opened fire.
According to Police Chief Kerr Putney, Howell “took the fight” to the gunman and knocked him off his feet giving authorities time to close in on the suspect.
“He did exactly what we train people to do,” Kerr Putney of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department stated. “You’re either gonna run, you’re gonna hide and shield, or you’re gonna take the fight to the assailant.”
Howell was hot “point blank” as he tried to take down the gunman. Another student, 19-year-old Ellis “Reed” Parlier, was also killed and four others were injured in the attack.
Howell grew up on a farm in North Carolina. His family said he dreamed of being a firefighter or serving in the military.
“He loved Star Wars, birds, cars, snowboarding, going to the lake, Kentucky Hot Browns cooking from scratch with cast iron while listening to the Feel Good Classic Soul playlist, and his Lauren. He could also put away a pizza,” they stated.
It was Howell’s first year at UNC Charlotte. Like many other students he was attending his final day of classes.