CHARLOTTE, NC — The man accused of killing two students and injuring four others during a shooting at UNC Charlotte is expected to enter a guilty plea in court on Thursday.
Trystan Terrell faces multiple charges in connection to the April 30th shooting, including two counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder. Officials announced Wednesday that Terrell had reached a plea deal with prosecutors and is expected to plead guilty in court.
Drew Pescaro, one of the students injured during the shooting inside the Kennedy building classroom, issued a statement Wednesday night following the announcement.
In the statement, Pescaro criticizes the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s decision saying, “I feel the DA’s decision showed a sense of weakness, laziness, and that they don’t possess the spine necessary for handling a case as large as this one was.”
You can read his full statement below:
“I was invited to go into the DA’s office for a meeting on Tuesday the 17th a few weeks back. Initially it was intended to explain to us the court process. A week ago I got a call from the DA’s office who sounded excited to hear that they received a plea deal in such a short amount of time and that they were going to accept it. So I go into the meeting Tuesday and they tell us all of the details about the case and any time I had an interjection about why they should push forward with death penalty, the interjected simply by saying it would take “too much time.” I was very mad about this decision and even more mad that they left us on radio silence up until the middle of August and then again until a few weeks ago just to then come to a decision about accepting a plea deal without seeing how us victims felt.
I feel the DA’s decision showed a sense of weakness, laziness, and that they don’t possess the spine necessary for handling a case as large as this one was. To my knowledge there had not been a school shooting in the state of North Carolina until this happened so I knew that a precedent would be set with this case. TT said to the police that he did what he did because he was in debt from the university and didn’t want to have to pay debt and didn’t think he’d be able to get a sufficient paying job. So in his eyes, his best move was to go and shoot 6 people, killing two of them, and make sure to put the gun down before police arrived so that he wouldn’t be killed. He stated himself he was afraid to die and that’s why a plea deal this early didn’t come as a surprise. Without even hearing what we had to say, the DA’s office was happy to accept the deal and pretend like we can all move on with our lives now that it’s over. What they don’t realize is that they are setting a precedent now for anyone who is lazy, doesn’t want to work, pay debt, etc. that as long as you go and kill people and put the gun down before police arrive, you’ll get life in prison. TT knew he wanted to get life in prison when planning this violent act and the DA’s office is rewarding him by giving him exactly what he wanted for doing what he did. It’s sickening and it makes me disappointed in the DA’s office, the City of Charlotte, and the State of North Carolina.
I also just want to add that I don’t mean any disrespect to the other victims or their families by making the decision not to be at the courthouse tomorrow. My decision to not appear at the courthouse simply comes down to feeling let down by the legal system that handled this case so poorly, and not trusting myself to be in the same room as the guy who attempted to kill me and four others, as well as killing two. I wouldn’t be able to control myself in the same room as him and I would get thrown out of the court room for my actions so I found it best not to be there and make a scene.”
The details of Terrell’s plea deal have not yet been released. The hearing is expected to take place Thursday afternoon.
Check back for updates.
For WCCB’s prior coverage of the UNC Charlotte shooting, click HERE.