FILE - This undated file photo provided by Matthew Westmoreland shows Riley Howell. A North Carolina police department has honored college student Howell and his family after he was killed when a gunman opened fire inside a classroom. News outlets report the family of UNC Charlotte student Howell received the Civilian Medal of Valor on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. (Matthew Westmoreland via AP, File)

Slain North Carolina student gets Purple Heart, Bronze Star

May 24, 2019 - 9:11 am

WAYNESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A University of North Carolina student who was killed when he tackled a gunman who opened fire inside a classroom has been posthumously awarded the highest military honors.

Twenty-one-year-old Army ROTC cadet Riley Howell was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.

The Charlotte Observer reports Waynesville Police Chief William Hollingsed and Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher on Wednesday presented Howell's family with the medals. They were provided by Thomas Matteo, president of the Purple Heart Society.

Riley is credited with saving lives during the April 30 attack that also killed 19-year-old student Ellis R. Parlier and wounded four others.

Authorities have charged 22-year-old Trystan Andrew Terrell with murder, attempted murder and other offenses.

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Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com

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