Charlotte, N.C. — Dozens of Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers were honored for their service to the community Wednesday, but the biggest award went to UNC Charlotte student Riley Howell.
NBC Charlotte reported Howell was awarded the Citizen Medal of Valor for his heroic actions during last month’s deadly shooting. Howell tackled the gunman and saved countless lives in the process. Howell, 21, and 19-year-old Reed Parlier were both killed in the attack. Four others students were injured.
Howell’s parents, siblings and his girlfriend accepted the award on his behalf to a standing ovation during Wednesday’s awards ceremony. “What Riley did in the class was extraordinary,” said one CMPD officer. “As a police department, as a community, as a city and as a nation, we wanted to recognize this act.”
Howell’s family didn’t speak during Wednesday’s ceremony but it was clear they were extremely proud of his actions.
Deadliest mass shootings in the United States
There is no set definition for the term “mass shooting” but in 2015 the Congressional Research Service produced a report that limited “mass shooting” to those that in which four or more people were killed. This chart originally included shootings in which three or more people were killed. It has been revised to include shootings where four or more people have died.
While most of the shootings listed here occurred since 2000, Columbine is included because of its notoriety; the 1986 shooting at the post office in Edmond, Okla., is included because it is the origin of the grim term “going postal.”
Source: Media reports, compiled by WRAL