Family proud of murdered 'hero' Riley Howell | News Coverage from USA

Family proud of murdered ‘hero’ Riley Howell

The mother of University of North Carolina Charlotte shooting victim Riley Howell said Thursday his family is “beyond proud” of his actions during a gunman’s rampage that left two students dead and four wounded.

“While kids were running one way, our son turned and ran towards the shooter,” Natalie Henry-Howell, Riley’s mother, told NBC’s “Today” show. “If he was in the room when something like that was happening, and he had turned away, he wouldn’t have been able to live with himself.” 

Teddy Howell, Riley Howell’s 14-year-old brother, agreed, saying there was no question that his 21-year-old brother would have done all he could to stop the killer.

“He put others before himself,” Teddy told “Today.” “He always has.”

Former UNCC student Trystan Andrew Terrell, 22, is charged with two counts of murder, four counts of attempted murder and related charges in Tuesday’s shooting. Terrell was scheduled to appear in court later Thursday.

Also killed was student Ellis R. Parlier, 19.

No motive had been determined. Terrell told reporters after his arrest that he “just went into a classroom and shot the guys.” Terrell, who left the school in the fall, had no criminal record, authorities said.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Kerr Putney dubbed Riley a hero, saying targets in an attack must either run, hide and shield or take the fight to assailant. Putney declined to detail Howell’s actions, but did say he “took the assailant off his feet.”

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Lauren Westmoreland, Riley’s girlfriend, said she is and Howell had discussed marriage. She said she was devastated by his death.

“Just tell people you love them,” she told “Today.” “The last thing that I got to say to him was that I loved him.”



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