UNCC student, "hero" Riley Howell laid to rest

A UNC Charlotte student killed in Tuesday's shooting was laid to rest.  

Nearly 2,000 people were in attendance at 21-year-old Riley Howell's funeral on Sunday. Family and friends honored Howell, who tackled the gunman after he opened fire in a small classroom on April 30.

His memorial service was held at at Stuart Auditorium at Lake Junaluska.  

Howell was described as selfless, loving and kind. Family says he liked to spend time outdoors, and enjoyed cooking. 

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"Absolutely, Mr. Howell saved lives," CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said of the Environmental Studies major. Putney called Howell "a hero," at a press conference on Wednesday, and said he "did exactly what we train people to do."

Howell was one of two students killed in the April 30 attack. The other was 19-year-old Ellis "Reed" Parlier. Four students were also injured in the attack.

Howell, who was an ROTC cadet was buried with full military honors. A petition filed on WhiteHouse.gov said he would have served his country if he had the chance. 

"Instead, he died saving the lives of his classmates. For his heroism, we ask that Riley be given a burial with full military honors," the petition says.

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This story was reported on from Charlotte, N.C.