A University of North Carolina student who was killed when he tackled a gunman who opened fire inside a classroom has been posthumously awarded the highest military honors.

Twenty-one-year-old Army ROTC cadet Riley Howell was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.

The Charlotte Observer reports Waynesville Police Chief William Hollingsed and Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher on Wednesday presented Howell’s family with the medals. They were provided by Thomas Matteo, president of the Purple Heart Society.

The family of Riley Howell receives his diploma during UNC Charlotte commencement exercises on Saturday afternoon, May 11, 2019. Howell died in the UNC Charlotte campus shooting on April 30. (David T. Foster III/The Charlotte Observer via AP)
The family of Riley Howell receives his diploma during UNC Charlotte commencement exercises on Saturday afternoon, May 11, 2019. Howell died in the UNC Charlotte campus shooting on April 30. (David T. Foster III/The Charlotte Observer via AP)

Riley is credited with saving lives during the April 30 attack that also killed 19-year-old student Ellis R. Parlier and wounded four others.

Authorities have charged 22-year-old Trystan Andrew Terrell with murder, attempted murder and other offenses.

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