Autopsy report released for UNC Charlotte shooting victim Riley Howell

Autopsy report released for UNC Charlotte shooting victim Riley Howell
21-year-old Riley Howell died a hero when he tackled a gunman who had opened fire in a classroom on the UNCC campus. (Photo courtesy family)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A UNC Charlotte shooting student hailed a hero after tackling a campus gunman in April died of gunshot wounds to the chest, an autopsy report released Tuesday revealed.

Riley Howell, 21 of Waynesville, NC, was in the classroom when 22-year-old Trystan Terrell opened fire, police say. Howell jumped on the shooter in an attempt to stop him, according to police. Howell was shot eight times, the autopsy report confirms, with some of the shots fired at close range.

Howell’s brave actions delayed the shooter, giving police more time to respond and fellow students a chance to escape.

Howell “did exactly what we train people to do: You’re either going to run, you’re going to hide and shield, or you’re going to take the fight to the assailant. Having no place to run and hide, he did the last,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said. “His sacrifice saved lives."

UNC Charlotte student Ellis R. Parlier, 19 of Midland, NC, was also killed in the campus shooting.

21-year-old Riley Howell (left) and 19-year-old Ellis R. Parlier (right) were killed during a shooting on the campus of UNC Charlotte on April 30, 2019. (Photos courtesy the Howell and Parlier families)
21-year-old Riley Howell (left) and 19-year-old Ellis R. Parlier (right) were killed during a shooting on the campus of UNC Charlotte on April 30, 2019. (Photos courtesy the Howell and Parlier families)

Four others were injured in the shooting: 20-year-old Rami Alramadhan of Saudi Arabia, 20-year-old Sean Dehart of Apex, NC, 23-year-old Emily Houpt of Charlotte, and 19-year-old Drew Pescaro of Apex, NC.

[ Victims identified in deadly UNC Charlotte shooting ]

UNC Charlotte shooting survivors
UNC Charlotte shooting survivors (Source: Photos provided to UNC Charlotte)

Howell was an Environmental Studies major who enrolled in UNCC in the fall of 2018 as a transfer student from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

Howell, a ROTC Cadet, was put to rest in May with full military honors.

Police say Terrell was armed with a pistol when he went into the Kennedy building on UNC Charlotte’s main campus around 5:40 p.m. Sources say witnesses told investigators that he started shouting and began shooting randomly.

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Terrell made a full confession to investigators during his questioning at CMPD, sources say.

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