CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A petition to rename a building on the campus of UNC Charlotte has received nearly 20,000 signatures since its creation on Thursday.
Sources say Howell jumped on the shooter after opening fire inside of a classroom in efforts to stop him. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney says his actions may saved the lives of others.
According to the petition, construction on the new recreation center is scheduled to be complete in the fall of 2019. Organizer Noah Crosswhite says renaming the building would honor the victims.
“It would be respectful to do so, so that they can be remember for generations of students to come,” Crosswhite said in the petition.
UNC Charlotte student Jacob Baum posted on Twitter Thursday requesting feedback for the location of the building.
The poll received almost 800 votes.
Baum told WBTV there is a wide-spread community effort to help memorialize both students.
“At the end of the day, we as a community, want to find a way to make sure that their life, and legacy lives on, on campus,” he said.
Barum says although they can’t bring Howell and Parlier back, the goal remains to remember their lives as they paid the ultimate sacrifice for their university.
“We can’t bring back Riley and Ellis “Reed”, but we can remember them, and as a university we will persevere as we always have throughout our history,” he said.
Four other people were injured during the shooting that happened in Kennedy Hall during the university’s last day of class.
The shooter, who was not enrolled in the course at the time of the shooting, had previously withdrew from the university on Feb. 14, according to officials at UNC Charlotte.