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UNCC Identifies Victims In Campus Shooting

Chris Crews / Niner Times
A gunman opened fire inside a building at UNC Charlotte at 5:40 p.m. Tuesday. The shooting left two dead and four others injured.

Updated: Friday at 2:45 p.m.

Friends and family members remembered the two students killed in Tuesday’s shooting UNC Charlotte – 19-year-old Ellis Reed Parlier of Midland, and 21-year-old Riley Howell of Waynesville.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said Wednesday that Howell charged the shooter in the classroom, helping save lives.
On Wednesday, friends of Parlier's family gathered at the family’s home on Cabarrus Station Road. Close friends also gathered at Matthews Presbyterian Church.

Luke Mabry, the church’s pastor, said co-workers of Parlier’s mother – who is a speech pathologist – organized the meeting.

“We wanted to support the mother’s work community,” he said. “They are a very close knit community of speech pathologists in Union County Schools and we wanted to support her to support them.”

Marby also said something has to change.

“I’ve preached on every school shooting that we have and I’m tired of preaching on school shootings. Somehow we as a community has to come together to stop this. We can’t resign ourselves to it and can’t give in to despair.”

Credit Submitted
Ellis Parlier, 19, of Midland was one of the students killed in Tuesday's shooting.

Four students were wounded in the shooting: 19-year-old Drew Pescaro and 20-year-old Sean DeHart, both of Apex; 20-year-old Rami Al-Ramadhan, of Saudi Arabia; and 23-year-old Emily Houpt, of Charlotte.

Here's what we know about them:

Ellis "Reed" Parlier was one of the students killed in the shooting. His parents, Brian and Julie Parlier, told the Associated Press that their son was kind and quiet, with a witty sense of humor. They said he was studying IT software development and had hopes of becoming a game developer.

Before attending UNCC, Parlier graduated from the Central Academy of Technology and Arts where he was on the Information Technology track. 

HIs father said he was a "math man" and was exceptionally bright. Brian Parlier said he remembered meeting his son's math teacher, who was surprised by how advanced his son's math skills were at such a young age.

"He already knew his multiplication tables because I had been teaching him those at dinner since he was two, and she did not believe me," Brian Parlier said. "So I asked him ten multiplication problems in front of her, and he answered all of them correctly. And she was dumbfounded."

He also said his son was exceptionally funny at a young age. 

"When he was 2 years-old, he was telling complex jokes," his father said. "He'd blend into the background and all of a sudden he'd make some witty remark about what was going on that would just take you by surprise."

Julie Parlier said her son loved to hike and camp, and was close with is family — especially his younger sister.

Credit Buncombe County Public Schools
Riley Howell, 21, of Waynesville was killed. He graduated from T.C. Roberson High School. Reports say he was active in sports, played soccer and ran cross-country. He was studying environmental studies at UNCC.

Riley Howell, the other person killed in the shooting. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Kerr Putney said Howell tackled the shooter and that "but for his work, the assailant may not have been disarmed. Unfortunately, he gave his life in the process. But his sacrifice saved lives."

The Howell family released a statement to WSOC-TV Wednesday, saying he was a "one of a kind guy." Part of the statement read:

"He loved all things outdoors, adventure, and especially family. He loved to work outside and when he worked, he did it with his hands and his heart. He always was able to put others before himself and never hesitated to help anyone who needed it. He was friends with anyone and everyone — a big muscular guy with a huge heart." 

Howell was a graduate of T.C. Roberson High School in Asheville, North Carolina. 

Tristen Plemmons, an English teacher at T.C. Roberson, said Howell's passing was "heart-wrenching." Plemon said:

"The violent and tragic passing of Riley Howell has touched the lives of everyone in our community. How could it not? I remember precisely where Riley sat in my classroom. I remember our conversations. I remember Riley's enthusiasm for life, infectious smile, and bright-eyed amiability. He was as easy to love as he so easily loved others."

Howell was active in sports. He played soccer and ran cross-country. Andrew Devine was his cross country coach. Devine said Riley joined the team his senior year. Devine added:

"As I reflect on his character I remember that he was bright, independent, kind, and optimistic;  he had a special affinity for the outdoors; his hallmarks were a big grin and a carefree spirit; and, his teammates loved and respected him. It was a privilege to be his coach.”

Howell was an environmental studies major at UNCC, according to Chancellor Dubois. 

[Share Your Reactions: UNCC Shooting Attack]

Credit Drew Pescaro / Facebook
Drew Pescaro, 19, was one of the victims injured in Tuesday's shooting. He is out of surgery and stable.

Drew Pescaro, who was wounded in the attack, graduated from Middle Creek High School in Apex and is a communications major at the university. He is a sportswriter for the student newspaper the Niner Times, which tweeted Tuesday night to say that he was out of surgery and is stable. According to hisFacebook page, Pescaro is also a video assistant with the 49ers football team, and co-hosts a sports talk show called “Fans With Attitude.” Pescaro is also a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.

Sean DeHart graduated from Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh and is a member of the class of 2021. According to his Facebook page, he is originally from Shelton, Connecticut, and is an avid Yankees fan. The team’s logo is set as his current profile picture. 

Greenville News said DeHart was treated and released from the hospital Tuesday. 

Credit Rami Al-Ramadhan / Twitter
Rami Al-Ramadhan, 20, was one of the victims injured in Tuesday's shooting. He's a student from Saudi Arabia studying engineering.

Rami Al-Ramadhan is a freshman student from Saihat, Saudi Arabia, a city located on the east coast of the country.

He is studying engineering. Al-Ramadhan is also an aspiring photographer, according to his Twitter feed, which is filled with photos he has taken of UNCC’s campus. Chancellor Dubois said that Al-Ramadhan's father is on his way from Saudi Arabia to be with him.

Emily Houpt is a global studies major at UNCC who would like to become a human rights advocate, according to her LinkedIn page. She is an intern at The Worlds Affairs Council of Charlotte and also works at a local Trader Joe’s. 

Credit Emily Houpt / LinkedIn
Emily Houpt, 23, was one of the victims injured in Tuesday's shooting. She is a global studies major at UNCC. She is being released from the hospital today, according to a former professor.

One of Houpt’s former professors, Beth Whitaker, posted on Facebook that Houpt was released from the hospital Wednesday and is “asking everyone to vote in the next election and donate to March for Our Lives.”

A vigil for the victims is planned on campus Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Clarification: The report has been changed to clarify that police have not said Riley Howell disarmed the shooter. But Chief Putney did say Howell tackled him and saved lives doing so. 

David Boraks previously covered climate change and the environment for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.
Jessa O’Connor was an assistant digital news editor and Sunday reporter for WFAE.
Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.
Gwendolyn is an award-winning journalist who has covered a broad range of stories on the local and national levels. Her experience includes producing on-air reports for National Public Radio and she worked full-time as a producer for NPR’s All Things Considered news program for five years. She worked for several years as an on-air contract reporter for CNN in Atlanta and worked in print as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, The Washington Post and covered Congress and various federal agencies for the Daily Environment Report and Real Estate Finance Today. Glenn has won awards for her reports from the Maryland-DC-Delaware Press Association, SNA and the first-place radio award from the National Association of Black Journalists.