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First Responders From Deadly UNCC Shooting Honored At Charlotte 49ers Game

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The first responders who rushed to UNC Charlotte on April 30 during a mass shooting were honored on the football field Saturday at a home game against the North Texas Mean Green.

During halftime, an announcer declared it "First Responders Appreciation Day" at Jerry Richardson Stadium as about 35 police officers, firefighters, paramedics, counselors and a K-9 walked onto the field.  

"While we should always be grateful for those who make sacrifices to keep us safe, it's especially meaningful to acknowledge those who selflessly responded to protect our campus community on April 30," the announcer said, nearly drowned out by applause from the crowd.

Dozens of first responders swarmed the campus that day – the last of spring classes – after a gunman opened fire in a classroom, killing two students and wounding four others. The shooter, Trystan Terrell, was apprehended within minutes, which police credit in part to student Riley Howell tackling him.

Howell, 21, and 19-year-old Ellis Reed Parlier were killed. Terrell pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and related charges  on Sept. 19. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Brad Potter was one of the officers who responded to campus April 30.

"Today's important to me because it was a very impactful day for the entire Charlotte community and UNCC," Potter said from the stadium in a video posted by CMPD. "Coming here allows us to show we'll never let hatred and evil rule the day."

Another officer, James Hosea, said he thought the moment at Saturday's game showed unity.

"We're all one family," Hosea said.  

As for the game, the 49ers beat North Texas, 39-38.