UNC Charlotte Shooting Victim Laid To Rest

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Currents News Staff

Riley Powell, the University of North Carolina (UNCC) student who saved the lives of his classmates by using his body as a shield during a shooting on campus, was laid to rest this week.

This, after a gunman opened fire in a classroom killing two students and wounding four others.

Lawyers for the suspect, 22-year-old Trystan Terrell, appeared in court.

Authorities say Terrell is a former student, a history major who dropped out earlier in the semester, according to local reports.

Witnesses described a harrowing scene.

“I only remember hearing three shots. It was three shots and then I went down, and the guy next to me got shot. It was just very scary,” said one witness.

“Almost immediately people started diving away,” said UNCC student Joshua Ayers.

Authorities say it might have been worse if not for 21-year-old Howell.

“You’re either going to run, you’re going to hide and shield, or your going to take the fight to the assailant,” said Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney.

“Having no place to run and hide he chose the last, but for his work the assailant may not have been disarmed,” he added.

People lined the streets and said a final farewell as police brought Howell back home.

For those who knew him, it came as no surprise.

“We are just beyond proud of what he was able to do,” said Natalie Henry-Howell, the victim’s mother.

“He put others before himself,” added his sister, Julia.

Earlier Wednesday, a vigil for both Howell and 19-year-old Ellis Reed Parlier was held within the UNC Charlotte community.