Hailed as a hero for knocking a shooter off his feet in a UNC Charlotte classroom, Riley Howell was posthumously awarded two of the military's highest honors in his hometown of Waynesville, North Carolina this week.
Howell, 21, and classmate Ellis "Reed" Parlier, 19, died when a gunman opened fire in their classroom in the Kennedy building on April 30.
Riley Howell, the Army ROTC cadet shot and killed while restraining an active shooter at UNC Charlotte on April 30, was posthumously awarded the ROTC Medal of Heroism earlier this month for his heroic sacrifice, the Army announced.
L-R: Peter Wang, photo via 21st Century Photography; Riley Howell, photo via AP; Brendan Bialy, photo via Twitter.
Twice in the span of one week, students with dreams of joining the U.S. military have been on the front lines against school shooters in the U.S., risking their lives and oftentimes losing them in the process.
Natalie Henry-Howell, mother of Riley Howell, receives his flag from a military honor guard during a memorial service for Riley Howell in Lake Junaluska, N.C., Sunday, May 5, 2019 (Associated Press/Kathy Kmonicek)
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. -- Brilliant sunshine, a gentle breeze, boisterous songbirds, a cavernous and rustic chapel on the edge of an idyllic lake — it was, nearly everyone would have to agree, the perfect setting from which to say goodbye to a young man who will forever be known as a hero.
As more than 1,000 people filed reverentially into Stuart Auditorium on Sunday afternoon, they were greeted by the face of that hero: Riley Howell, who died in the UNC Charlotte shooting just five days earlier after pinning the gunman down and thwarting attempts to kill more of his classmates. (One other student was killed and four more were injured, but police have repeatedly asserted that Howell ensured there wasn't further violence.)
Riley Howell (T.C. Roberson High School via New York Times)
(Reuters) - The slain student hailed as a hero for tackling a gunman during last week's shooting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) will be buried on Sunday with full military honors.
Twenty-one-year-old Riley Howell was one of two students killed on Tuesday when a shooter opened fire with a handgun inside a classroom full of nearly 50 students. Four other students were injured.