Education

Student Who Died After Tackling UNCC Gunman To Receive Military Honors

SHUTTERSTOCK/ Barry Baskin

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter

A University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) student received military honors Sunday after he tackled the gunman who instigated a shooting on campus and died.

Riley Howell, 21, rushed toward suspected gunman Trystan Andrew Terrell, 22, during class on April 30. Howell was an ROTC cadet at the university, CNN reported Sunday.

Howell was buried with an honor guard detail and the U.S. flag was folded and presented to Howell’s family, ABC News reported. More than 25,000 people signed a petition on whitehouse.gov pushing for the honors.

Family members were not surprised Howell went after the shooter, according to ABC.

“At first we didn’t know he ran at the gunman, we just knew that he’d been shot, and, when we got told that, it was like a huge weight got lifted from your shoulders,” Juliet, one of Howell’s sisters, said, ABC reported. “You just thought, everything is right now. He did what he was supposed to do.”

Howell’s Celebration of Life service is scheduled for 5 p.m. Sunday near his hometown of Waynesville, North Carolina, according to CNN. (RELATED: Police: Former High School Football Player Who Made Headlines For Being Homeless Shot His Girlfriend)

“He had a wonderful sense of humor, with his own quirks, cracking jokes all day, and making anyone feel better no matter the circumstances,” Howell’s obituary said.

The campus shooting left four students injured and Howell along with 19-year-old Reed Parlier dead.

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