UNCC Shooting Victim’s “Sacrifice Saved Lives”

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Six victims were all at various stages of their college careers. Some were finishing up their first year, others finishing their final class. All of them were sitting in class when the shooting started.

Riley Howell and Ellis “Reed” Parlier died. Rami Al-Ramadhan, Sean Dehart, Drew Pescaro, and Emily Houpt were hit by bullets.

Riley Howell is being called a hero for tackling the shooter.

“He gave his life in the process. But his sacrifice saved lives.,” said CMPD Chief Kerr Putney.

Family members describe the 21-year-old from Waynesville as “loving life.”

They say he “took on challenges” and even considered military service or fire fighting before enrolling as an environmental studies major.

The family’s statement reads, “He was everyone’s protector. Always standing up for what he believed in and lending a strong back to those in need.”

Reed Parlier, of Midland, also died in the shooting.

“We support and comfort those who want to mourn,” said Pastor Luke Maybry of Matthews Presbyterian Church.

He spoke to a small group of Parlier’s family friends on Wednesday.

“The message that I shared was one of hope,” said Maybry, “I believe that God gives us hope and comfort in times of sorrow.”

Reed was a computer science major who loved video games. Professors described him as independent and motivated.

His family sent a statement saying, “The family is still in shock and grieving over their loss.”

Those injured in the shooting include a student from Saudi Arabia, Rami Al-Ramadhan. His friend Waleed Aldahfeeri spoke to Rami in the hospital. The freshman was shot in the torso and forearm but is keeping a positive attitude.

“He was good. He was happy. His condition was perfect,” said Aldahfeeri.

Drew Pescaro is also recovering. The communications major from Apex was a member of a leadership fraternity.

Sean Dehart, also of Apex, was treated and released from the hospital last night.

Emily Houpt of Charlotte was also injured. She’s expected to make a full physical recovery. Her mother posted on Facebook thanking people for their prayers and saying Emily is doing well.

The senior is preparing for graduation.

“We’re delighted she’ll be there to go across the stage, ” said UNCC Chancellor Philip Dubois.