The student credited with tackling a gunman during a fatal North Carolina campus rampage suffered eight gunshot wounds, and another slain student was shot six times, according to autopsies released Tuesday.
An autopsy made public by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Riley Howell had four wounds to the head or neck, two to the chest and one on each arm during the April 30 shooting at UNC-Charlotte that killed two and wounded four. A Charlotte-area examiner found that the chest wounds, one of which was at close range, caused fatal injuries to the heart, lungs and other organs.
The other slain student, Ellis Reed Parlier, 19, had six wounds, including one to the head and two to the back, according to his autopsy.
Police have said Howell, 21, saved lives by charging the gunman and bringing him to the ground.
Trystan Andrew Terrell is charged with murder and other counts in the deaths of Howell and Parlier. Four other students survived wounds.
The motive for the shooting hasn’t been made clear, but investigative documents say Terrell, a former UNC-Charlotte student, spent months planning the shooting. He told investigators he gave up on the attack after Howell brought him down. Police say in the documents they found the handgun believed to be used in the shooting nearby.
Witnesses have said the gunman took aim at a specific table in the classroom, but it wasn’t clear if he was targeting one or more of the students in particular. The faculty member who taught the class has said Terrell was enrolled in the course but quit attending in January.
A lawyer for Terrell didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment Tuesday.
The shooting on the last day of class threw the campus into chaos as students fled the building, ran for cover or sheltered in place. The university recently announced that the classroom won’t be used again.