‘Heroic’ UNC Charlotte Victim Riley Howell Sacrificed His Life to Rush Shooter, Aunt Says

21-year-old Riley Howell died rushing the gunman in a shooting Tuesday on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, his grieving aunt told reporters.

“He did such a heroic thing,” Morgan Howell Moylan told CNN. “He was everybody’s protector. You felt safe when you were with Riley.”

Moylan said she wasn’t surprised by what he did. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerry Putney said that Howell died trying to save others.

“His faith was strong and he knew what he had to do when people needed him most,” his family said in a statement. “He was always the guy you could count on and he delivered.”

Howell and 19-year-old Ellis Parlier lost their lives on Tuesday. Four were injured: 20-year-old Rami Alramadhan, 20-year-old Sean DeHart, 23-year-old Emily Houpt, and 19-year-old Drew Pescaro.

Police, witnesses, and the university said a gunman opened fire in a classroom Tuesday. Authorities identified the suspect as Trystan Andrew Terrell, 22. He’s a former student.

“I just went into a classroom and shot the guys,” Terrell told reporters as cops led him off in handcuffs, according to The Associated Press.

The defendant faces charges including murder, and attempted murder. He is scheduled for a bond hearing Thursday, a court clerk told Law&Crime. There is no attorney of record at this time.

[Screengrab via The Charlotte Observer]

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