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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A college student who died tackling a gunman at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte last year has been posthumously awarded one of the nation’s highest civilian honors.

Riley Howell was honored with a Congressional Medal of Honor Society Citizen Award at wreath-laying ceremony live-streamed from the Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old was shot eight times while taking down the gunman last year.

His parents said it’s unfair that he had to risk his life.

Natalie Howell told The Charlotte Observer that she feels “conflicted” but decided to accept the honor on behalf of all ”the people who have also needlessly lost their lives to gun violence.”