UNCC student killed in April 30 attack gets Purple Heart, Bronze Star

A UNCC student who was killed when he tackled a gunman who opened fire inside a classroom has been posthumously awarded military honors.

Twenty-one-year-old Army ROTC cadet Riley Howell was given a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.

The Charlotte Observer reports Waynesville police Chief William Hollingsed and Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher presented Howell’s family with the medals Wednesday. They were provided by Thomas Matteo, president of the Purple Heart Society.

Riley is credited with saving lives during the April 30 attack on the Charlotte campus that also killed 19-year-old student Ellis R. Parlier. Howell and Parlier were both laid to rest and recieved posthumous degrees. 

A foundation, launched by the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, has also been set up to support families affected by gun violence in memory of Howell.

Four others were also injured in the attack, Rami Alramadhan, Sean DeHart, Drew Pescaro and Emily Houpt.

Authorities charged 22-year-old Trystan Andrew Terrell with murder, attempted murder and other offenses.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.