UNCC student who died while knocking down gunman to be buried with full military honors

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A student who officials said died saving lives earlier this week in a shooting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte will be buried with full military honors.

A Wells Funeral Homes spokesperson confirmed to WJZY that Riley Howell will be buried with the honors.

The 21-year-old has been lauded as a hero after saving lives when he rushed toward the UNC Charlotte shooter.

The shooter rushed inside a classroom Tuesday and opened fired just as Howell and about 30 other students were listening to final presentations of their liberal studies class.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Kerr Putney said 21-year-old Howell ran at the gunman and knocked him off his feet — something that eventually helped police arrest the suspect.

"Absolutely, Mr. Howell saved lives," Putney said at a press conference on Wednesday. “He did exactly what we train people to do."

Howell, who was also an ROTC cadet, was one of two students who died in the shooting. The other was identified as Reed Parlier.

Three other students also were injured. They were identified as Emily Houpt, 23, of Charlotte; Sean DeHart, 20, of Apex, North Carolina; and Drew Pescaro, 19, of Apex.

A petition was started following the shooting that asked the White House to honor Howell's sacrifice with a military burial.

The petition, directed at the White House, was created by someone identified only by the initials L.K. on Wednesday.

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