UNC Charlotte shooting 'hero' was killed after he jumped on gunman Trystan Terrell to stop him
Witnesses revealed that 21-year-old Riley Howell died on Tuesday when he jumped on college dropout Trystan Terrell to try and save others
One of the two students who was killed in a UNC Charlotte classroom on April 30 reportedly died after he heroically jumped on the gunman to try and stop him.
Witnesses revealed that 21-year-old Riley Howell died along with 19-year-old Ellis Parlier. Both the students were shot by 22-year-old UNC Charlotte dropout Trystan Terrell after he opened fire in their classroom at 5:40 p.m. on Tuesday.
Since Howell's tragic death, witnesses have paid tribute to him for his heroic actions as he died trying to save others.
According to local media outlet WSOCTV, Terrell is in custody and is now awaiting his first court date on the charges of murder and attempted murder.
His former soccer coach also said that there were "no words to describe how good a human being" he was. The Rams soccer coach Josh Martin told The Citizen Times: "You can’t really put into words what a good human being he was. There aren’t words to describe how we’re all feeling. This is tragic." He also said that he had spent the morning "crying his eyes out".
Howell's friend Lucas Tate said: "He had an amazing soul. He always brought light into the room and he just cared about people more than himself. He was just that kind of person."
Shortly before he was named to be among the victims, Howell's girlfriend made desperate pleas on social media for any information on whether he had been harmed in the incident or not. The 21-year-old hero was from Asheville, North Carolina.
19-year-old Ellis Parlier was from Midland, North Carolina.
He was a graduate of the Central Academy of Technology and Arts. A spokesperson for the school system, Tahira Stalberte, said: "It's very shocking as you can imagine. Our community is still in shock in dealing with this loss. The news is still very fresh in our community."
Four other students were also injured in the attack. They have been identified as 19-year-old Drew Pescaro, 20-year-old Sean Dehart, 20-year-old Rami Alramatin, and 23-year-old Emily Houpt.
Emily's mother posted on Facebook that her daughter will be making a full recovery. She wrote: "Emily is doing well under the circumstances and will make a full physical recovery in a couple of weeks. I am so very angry right now and I’m sure as I process the events of this day and it all begins to sink in, I will have more to say about this senseless tragedy!"
The authorities are yet to reveal Terrell's motives. It was reported earlier that he had dropped out of college this semester but the circumstances of his departure are not known.
MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) previously reported that the suspect's grandfather Paul Rold of Arlington, Texas, said that Terrell and his father moved to Charlotte from the Dallas area about two years ago after his mother died.
Terrell never showed any interest in guns or other weapons and the news he may have been involved in a mass shooting was stunning, said Rold, who had not heard about the Charlotte attack before being contacted by a reporter. "You're describing someone foreign to me. This is not in his DNA."
Police are yet to reveal Terrell's motive. He dropped out from the college this semester but the circumstances surrounding his departure are not known.
He has lived in Charlotte for the last two years but grew up in Texas with his grandfather. His mother Robyn died in 2011 after battling breast cancer. According to a 2016 blog post by his father, Terrell was diagnosed with autism when he was three.