Slain North Carolina college student confronted gunman, saved lives

Riley Howell

(Reuters) – A 21-year-old student killed in a shooting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte saved some of his classmates’ lives by tackling the gunman and attempting to disarm him, the city’s top law enforcement official said yesterday.

Environmental studies student Riley Howell of Waynesville, North Carolina, one of two campus students shot to death on Tuesday evening, played a key role in ending the attack by a former student, said Kerr Putney, chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

“But for his work, the assailant may not have been disarmed,” Putney told a news conference.

“He’s an athletically built young man, and he took the fight to the assailant. Unfortunately he had to give his life to do so,” said Putney, himself a UNC Charlotte alumnus. “He took the assailant off his feet.”

The other student killed in the shooting was Ellis Parlier, 19, officials said. Four students left wounded in the attack were identified as Drew Pescaro, 19; Sean DeHart, 20; Emily Houpt, 23; and Rami Alramadhan, 20.

Police in Charlotte arrested former UNC Charlotte student Trystan Andrew Terrell, 22, who has been charged with two counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder. Authorities offered no explanation for a possible motive.

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