Student who died trying to stop UNC Charlotte gunman receives Purple Heart, Bronze Star
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The 21-year-old North Carolina college student who died trying to stop a gunman on his campus has been posthumously honored with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.

The family of Riley Howell, an ROTC cadet, was presented with the medals at a ceremony this week hosted by the Waynesville, N.C. Police Department.

Howell was hailed as a hero after rushing to tackle Trystan Andrew Terrell, who is accused of opening fire on the University of North Carolina-Charlotte campus last month, killing one other student besides Howell and injuring four others.


Howell was buried with full military honors.

Vietnam War veteran Thomas "Stormy" Matteo, the president of the Purple Heart Society and recipient of six Purple Heart medals, praised Howell as a “true hero” in a video call with his family during the ceremony, according to the department.

"It is with great Honor and Respect to present the American Hero Award posthumously to Riley C. Howell. Cadet Howell with complete disregard for his personal safety, made a decision to stop an Active Shooter on his college campus,” a plaque given to Howell’s family read, according to CNN.