Riley Howell, UNCC Hero, Awarded Purple Heart, Bronze Star
Riley Howell was a student at UNCC in April, when a gunman opened fire on campus, hitting six people. Riley tackled the shooter, and unfortunately, lost his life in the process, according to Fox. But police credit his action with the ability to disarm the suspect. Riley was one of two students killed.
Waynesboro police posted this;
Chief Hollingsed, Sheriff Christopher, and Officers at the Waynesville Police Department were honored to present the family of Riley Howell with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star from Thomas Matteo. “Stormy” Matteo is the President of the Purple Heart Society and is the recipient of six Purple Heart medals awarded during action with the Marines in Vietnam. During a “FaceTime” call at the Police Department, Mr. Matteo spoke to the parents and siblings of Riley and commended Riley’s actions as a true hero.
We were truly honored to be part of this presentation.
Riley Howell was a 21 year old Army ROTC cadet. He was posthumously given a purple heart and bronze star with V device for his actions in the April 30 shooting incident.
The medals came from Sgt Thomas Matteo, USMC Retired, the president of the Purple Heart Society. The Waynesboro Police Department assisted in giving the honors to Riley’s family. Mr. Matteo spoke with Riley’s family to express that he believed their son was a hero.
“He did exactly what we train people to do.
You’re either gonna run, gonna hide and shield, or you’re gonna take the fight to the assailant. Having no place to run and hide, he did the last. Unfortunately, he gave his life in the process. But his sacrifice saved lives. What he did was, he took the assailant off his feet, and then the heroes that we have here were able to apprehend him from there.” Police Chief Kerr Putney
Featured photo: left, Riley Howell yearbook photo; right, Waynesboro Police photo