Student who died trying to stop UNC Charlotte shooter to be buried with military honors

Riley Howell, the 21-year-old University of North Carolina Charlotte student who died trying to stop a gunman earlier this week, will be buried with full military honors, Wells Funeral Homes said Friday.

Howell has been hailed a hero for rushing to tackle Trystan Andrew Terrell, the man accused of opening fire on the campus on Tuesday, killing two and injuring four others. The other student who died was 19-year-old Ellis "Reed" Parlier.

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Terrell has since been charged with two counts of murder, four counts of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and two firearms offenses.

Police and classmates say Howell was in the classroom when the shooting began and was able to take the shooter off his feet, after which police apprehended the suspect.

"Absolutely, Mr. Howell saved lives," Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said in a press conference this week, adding that he "did exactly what we train people to do."

Howell was an Environmental Studies major and an ROTC cadet. More than 26,000 people had signed a WhiteHouse.gov petition requesting for Howell to receive a burial with full military honors.

"Riley was an ROTC cadet and would have served his country. Instead, he died saving the lives of his classmates. For his heroism, we ask that Riley be given a burial with full military honors," the petition reads.

If not for Howell’s actions, officials said, more lives would have been at risk.

A memorial service for Howell will be held at 5 p.m. on Sunday.