At the University of North Carolina at Charlotte two students were killed and four injured on April 30.
A graduate from CCU’s communications department is currently getting her master’s degree at UNCC and was on campus during the shooting. Fortunately, she made it out safely. Reed Parlier didn’t make it out. Neither did Riley Howell, as he risked his life to save his classmates, according to CNN.
“It was absolutely no surprise. In fact, I have four children who so look up to him. Every one of them said, ‘Of course he was the hero – 100% of course he’d run toward the shooter.’ He was everybody’s protector. You felt safe when you were with Riley,” his aunt Morgan Howell told CNN.
Injured victims were Rami Al-Ramadhan, Sean DeHart, Emily Houpt, and Drew Pescaro, university officials said.
The suspect was identified as a 22-year-old white male and he will be facing several charges. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department said the suspect will be facing two counts of murder, four counts of attempted murder, four counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, possession of a firearm on educational property and discharging a firearm on educational property.
University Chancellor Philip Dubois said it was “the saddest day in UNC Charlotte’s history.”
Coastal Carolina President David DeCenzo sent out a university communication to acknowledge that our campus is thinking of them during this tragedy.
“We pray for all whose lives are impacted by this terrible tragedy, and we have hope in the strength and resiliency of the people of UNCC,” DeCenzo said in a university communication.
“These occurrences happen in only an instant, yet as we prepare for commencement events, summer break, and beyond, let us continue to hold our friends in Charlotte close in our minds and hearts.”
Former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords sent her condolences to the victims and their families.
“I am so sorry for these young people and their families. We fail as a nation when we fail to protect our children. You deserve better,” she said in a tweet.
CCU education major sophomore Savanna Gilbert was personally affected by this tragedy.
“I have a friend that goes to UNCC that posted on her Snapchat story about the shooting as it was happening. It’s really scary to think that something like that can happen so close to home,” she said.