May 1, 2019 – In Breaking News – The Charlotte Observer
A gunman killed two people when he opened fire on Tuesday at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
One of those he allegedly murdered has been described by police as a “hero” because of what unfolded in his final moments.
Riley Howell, a 21-year-old from Waynesville, was most likely the last fatality in the school shooting, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney told reporters on Wednesday.
The alleged gunman, identified as Trystan Andrew Terrell, 22, encountered Howell in a building on campus, that police said Terrell chose for a reason, with a legally purchased handgun.
(Two people were killed and four injured in a shooting on the University of North Carolina Charlotte campus April 30, 2019. Here’s what we know as of May 1. Courtesy of the Charlotte Observer and YouTube. Posted on May 1, 2019.)
Putney said that Howell “did exactly what we train people to do.”
“You’re either gonna run, gonna hide and shield, or you’re gonna take the fight to the assailant,” the police chief said.
“Having no place to run and hide, he did the last.”
It would be an “understatement” to say Howell tackled the gunman, but it “would be appropriate,” according to Putney.
He said that if Howell didn’t approach the gunman, he “might not have been disarmed.”
(It’s still unclear why a gunman opened fire Tuesday at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Two students died, including 21-year-old Riley Howell, who fought the gunman. Courtesy of CBS Evening News and YouTube. Posted on May 1, 2019.)
“Unfortunately, he gave his life in the process. But his sacrifice saved lives,” he said of Howell.
“What he did was he took the assailant off his feet, and then the heroes that we have here were able to apprehend him from there.”
Putney described Howell as “the first and foremost hero as far as [he’s] concerned” regarding the shooting, which also killed 19-year-old Ellis Parlier.
(UNC Charlotte shooting victim Riley Howell died trying to stop the gunman, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Kerr Putney calls him a hero. Courtesy f USA Today and YouTube. Posted on May 1, 2019.)
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