Everyday Heros

University of North Carolina School Shooting

Victorianna Beels, Buisness Manager

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In the recent decade, school shootings have become more and more common sight in the news. Some of the first school shootings like Columbine and Sandy Hook still shake up many Americans. I can remember the day that I found out about what happened at the Sandy Hook shooting. Although it was 2012, and I was only 10, it was still very hard for me to comprehend that somebody could go to a school full of kids, younger than me and close to me in age, and kill them.

The first school shootings appeared in the news back in 1974 with the Olean High School shooting in New York. Since then, more and more school shootings have been all over the news. As the half century of school shootings has continued, the shootings have progressively gotten more and more deadly and close to home. Last year, there was even a school shooting at Central Michigan University.

One of the most recent school shootings being at the University of North Carolina (UNC). On the 29th of April, 22-year-old Trystan Andrew Terrell, who had once attended classes at UNC had walked into teacher Adam Johnson’s 5:30p.m. lecture. The students were watching the videos of fellow students who were presenting the idea behind science and evolution. Terrell injured four students and murdered two students; he has been charged with two counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder.

An emergency text message was sent out all around campus with an urgent, brief message: “Run, Hide, Fight. Secure yourself immediately.” Unable to run or hide, UNC soccer player and student, Riley C. Howell, was faced with a difficult decision as the gunman was in his classroom. With intentions to save others, Howell tackled the gunman, who had already fired several rounds. Howell pinned the gunman down until the authorities could arrive to arrest him.

In a heroic act, Howell sacrificed his own life in order to save his classmates. Chief Kerr Putney of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said, “Unfortunately, he gave his life in the process. But his sacrifice saved lives.” If not for Howell and his heroic decision, who knows how many would have been injured or killed.

This article is in memory of Riley C. Howell and Ellis R. Parlier, who lost their lives in this tragedy.