(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.
The gunman, who authorities identified as former UNCC student Trystan Andrew Terrell, 22, has been charged with two counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder.
"The North Carolina National Guard will conduct military funeral honors today for cadet Howell. This action is approved by the adjutant general under state orders," said Wells Greeley of Wells Funeral Homes in Waynesville, North Carolina.
Howell, an environmental studies student, was a cadet with the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps. An online petition calling for him to receive a full honors military burial drew more than 33,000 signatures.
An obituary posted on the funeral home's website described Howell as adventurous, passionate about life and all living things. He loved "anything Star Wars" and would have lightsaber fights in the yard with his younger brother Teddy.
"Riley died the way he lived, putting others first. Our hope is that his example resonates with everyone," the obituary read. "We hope his example of loving, living large, being kind always and finding laughter in the little things will be remembered as Riley's gift to us all."
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Jackie Melendrez couldn't be prouder of her husband, her sons, and the fact that she works for the trucking company Iron Mountain. This regional router has been a Mountaineer since 2017, and says the support she receives as a military spouse and mother is unparalleled.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 40-foot-tall (12 meters) cross-shaped war memorial standing on public land in Maryland does not constitute government endorsement of religion, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a decision that leaves unanswered questions about the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.
The justices were divided on many of the legal issues but the vote was 7-2 to overturn a lower court ruling that had declared the so-called Peace Cross in Bladensburg unconstitutional in a legal challenge mounted by the American Humanist Association, a group that advocates for secular governance. The concrete cross was erected in 1925 as a memorial to troops killed in World War One.
The ruling made it clear that a long-standing monument in the shape of a Christian cross on public land was permissible but the justices were divided over whether other types of religious displays and symbols on government property would be allowed. Those issues are likely to come before the court in future cases.