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The Latest: NC university remembers slain students at vigil

May 2, 2019
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People gather across from the campus of UNC Charlotte after a fatal shooting at the school, Tuesday, April 30, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)
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People gather across from the campus of UNC Charlotte after a fatal shooting at the school, Tuesday, April 30, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on a fatal shooting at a North Carolina university (all times local):

7:05 p.m.

The chancellor of the North Carolina university where two students were shot and killed in a classroom says the school won’t be defined by the tragedy.

University of North Carolina-Charlotte Chancellor Philip Dubois said during a vigil in the school’s basketball arena that the university can be defined by how it responds to Tuesday’s shooting, which also injured four other students.

Student Body President Chandler Crean fought back tears as he said Wednesday that students, professors and administrators must do all they can to make sure this never happens at another school.

Emotion caught in DuBois’ voice several times also. He told the thousands of people at the vigil they will forever be changed, but they will forever be stronger.

Students were also invited to an on-campus candlelight vigil later Wednesday.

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5:45 p.m.

Students are descending on the basketball arena at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte to attend a vigil for the victims of a fatal shooting in a campus classroom.

The vigil was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, a reading day before final exams were scheduled to start on the campus north of downtown Charlotte. Instead of preparing for finals, students will pay respects to the two people killed when a gunman opened fire Tuesday, killing two and wounding four.

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A shooting on a Charlotte, North Carolina university campus left two people dead and four wounded Tuesday, prompting a lockdown and chaotic scene in the state's largest city. Police identified the suspect as 22-year-old Trystan Andrew Terrell. (May 1)

Many students wore green T-shirts with various logos representing the school and its sports nickname, the 49ers.

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4 p.m.

The father of shooting victim Riley Howell’s longtime girlfriend says the young man was always ready to help others.

Kevin Westmoreland says his daughter, Lauren, and Howell dated for nearly six years and stayed together even as they went to separate colleges.

He said Howell was athletic and compassionate — and would have been a good firefighter or paramedic.

Howell was one of two students killed Tuesday by a gunman at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. The 21-year-old junior was from the Asheville area.

Police credit Howell with saving lives by tackling the shooter in the attack that also wounded four students.

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3:30 p.m.

The grandfather of the suspect in a fatal shooting on a North Carolina college campus says his grandson is under observation in police custody.

Paul Rold said Wednesday that 22-year-old Trystan Andrew Terrell has not been allowed to speak to his father or a lawyer. Rold says Terrell’s father “hasn’t a clue about what happened.”

Terrell is jailed on multiple charges including murder in the Tuesday attack on a University of North Carolina-Charlotte classroom that left two students dead and four others wounded.

Rold, of Arlington, Texas, says Terrell is on the autism spectrum but “clever as can be” and showed no interest in guns.

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3:15 p.m.

Authorities say the gunman who killed two students in a North Carolina college classroom didn’t appear to target any particular person but did deliberately pick the building where it happened.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said he promised the father of one of the victims that his detectives will do everything they can to try to figure out why the shooter opened fire Tuesday in a classroom at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Former student 22-year-old Trystan Andrew Terrell has been charged in the attack that killed two students and wounded four others.

Authorities did not say how many students were in the anthropology class at the time of the shooting but said it was a fairly large class.

Putney says the weapon used in the shooting was purchased legally.

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2:50 p.m.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney says one of the two people killed in a shooting in a college classroom saved lives by tackling the gunman.

Putney says 21-year-old Riley Howell “took the fight to the assailant” after determining he had no place to run or hide in his classroom Tuesday afternoon at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Putney said that, without Howell’s attack, capturing 22-year-old Trystan Andrew Terrell might have taken longer.

Putney said the fast action by university police also saved lives. The first officer in the classroom said he has been preparing for a horrible event like this for 20 years in his mind.

Authorities say Terrell withdrew from classes this semester.

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12:15 p.m.

A spokeswoman for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte says the suspect in a shooting that killed two students and wounded four others had withdrawn from classes and was no longer enrolled as a student.

UNC-Charlotte spokeswoman Buffy Stephens said Wednesday that suspect Trystan Andrew Terrell withdrew from school earlier this year. Campus police said they disarmed and arrested Terrell in the classroom where the shooting happened Tuesday.

The university said the dead are 21-year-old Riley Howell of Waynesville and 19-year-old Ellis Parlier of Midland.

Wounded were 20-year-old Sean Dehart of Apex, 23-year-old Emily Houpt of Charlotte and 19-year-old Drew Pescaro of Apex.

Also shot was 20-year-old Rami Alramadhan of Saihat, Saudia Arabia. UNC-Charlotte Chancellor Philip DuBois said in radio interviews Wednesday that the freshman student’s father is coming from Saudi Arabia.

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10:45 a.m.

A university chancellor says the two people killed and four wounded in a campus shooting were all students.

University of North Carolina-Charlotte Chancellor Phillip Dubois said in radio interviews Wednesday that the two people killed were a 19-year-old from Midland, North Carolina and a 21-year-old from Waynesville, North Carolina.

He discussed the victims in interviews with WFAE and WBT. The spellings of their names couldn’t immediately be confirmed.

The four wounded ranged in age from 19 to 23. Three were from North Carolina and one was from Saudi Arabia.

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1 a.m.

A shooting that killed two and wounded four at a North Carolina university left students scrambling for shelter and prompted fresh calls for ways to keep campuses safe.

A vigil was planned for Wednesday on the campus of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, where the shooting on Tuesday upended the last day of class. The governor vowed a hard look at what happened in order to prevent future shootings.

Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, told reporters that students should not have to fear for their lives on campus. He added: “In the coming days we will take a hard look at all of this to see what we need to do going forward.”

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