About 30 family members and friends of 19-year-old Ellis Reed Parlier, one of two students killed by a gunman at UNC Charlotte Tuesday, gathered to support each other at Matthews Presbyterian Church today. The group quietly talked about ways they can help each other deal with Parlier’s tragic death in a classroom in the school’s Kennedy Building during final course presentations.
Luke Maybry, the church’s pastor said coworkers of Parlier’s mother, a speech pathologist organized today’s gathering.
“We wanted to support the mother’s work community,” Maybry said. “They are a very close knit community of speech pathologists in Union County Schools and we wanted to support her and to support them.”
Maybry says his message to the group was one of hope. He says they tried to comfort each other as best they could. He says something has to change soon to stop this kind of violence.
“I’ve preached on every school shooting that we have and I’m tired of preaching on school shootings,” Maybry said. “Somehow we, as a community, have to come together to stop this. We can’t resign ourselves to it and can’t give in to despair.”
Parlier is from Midland in southern Cabarrus County and was a graduate of Union County Public Schools’ Central Academy of Technology and Arts in the information technology track.
Riley Howell, 21 of Waynesville was also killed in the shooting. He graduated from T.C. Roberson High School in Waynesville, where according to the Asheville-Citizen Times, he was active in soccer and other sports. Howell was an environmental studies major at UNC Charlotte.
Four other students were wounded: 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. They are all expected to make full recoveries.
Former UNC Charlotte student, 22-year-old Trystan Andrew Terrell has been charged in the shooting. CMPD Police Chief Kerr Putney said the handgun Terrell used in the shooting was purchased legally and that he was familiar with the building where the shooting occurred.