CHARLOTTE – Two students killed in the 2019 school shooting on the campus of UNC Charlotte will be honored with a permanent memorial, per the recommendation of Niner Nation Remembrance Commission. Unfortunately, the students on the campus of UNC Charlotte became intimately familiar with the surreal fear and terror of a crazed shooter. Two students were killed in the shooting — Riley Howell and Ellise Reed Parlier — but it likely would have been many more lives lost if it weren’t for the heroic actions of the former.
Howell gave his life fighting to save others, running toward and tackling the shooter. The commission recommended a memorial marker in Belk Plaza that names Howell and Ellis Parlier, as well as including all those affected by the tragedy.
From Fox Carolina:
“[…] The proposal for the memorial specifically calls for Parlier and Howell to be remembered by name, while also honoring the long-standing psychological and physical wounds still left behind. The space would be occupiable and offer a place of pause in the center of campus.
The commission has recommended a $1 million budget, with an understanding that another $1 million will be required for Belk Plaza.
The commission says a two-step proposal process should be used to solicit a wide range of designs, and a jury of experts and committee members appointed by the Chancellor should decide which design to go with. They also suggest the first three anniversaries of the shooting should serve as touchstones in the memorial creation process. [..]”
The commission also recommended turning the classroom where the shooting occurred into a space of remembrance and contemplation. The apparent heroism of Howell became a silver lining of UNC Charlotte’s darkest day, with reports that he did not hesitate in trying to save others, knocking the shooter off his feet, being shot himself in the process. His distraught parents, family, and friends, as well as the rest of the campus community who lost so much, can be proud of the man that he was and the legacy he’ll ultimately leave.
Howell was an ROTC student, buried with full military honors. He was also made a Jedi in the Star Wars universe as Ri-Lee Howell.