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UNC Charlotte shooting survivor plans to walk across the stage for her diploma

Emily Houpt, one of four UNC Charlotte students injured when a gunman opened fire in a classroom, plans to walk across a stage next week to receive her degree in international studies, UNCC Chancellor Phil Dubois said Thursday.

“We are absolutely delighted that Emily appears able to walk across the stage,” Dubois told The Charlotte Observer in a phone interview.

Houpt, 23, remained hospitalized Thursday. But Dubois told the Observer that the university will arrange special seating for Houpt and her family at her graduation ceremony, which is scheduled for 3 p.m. May 11 in Halton Arena on campus.

She is the only graduate among the students who were injured in the shooting, a UNCC spokesman said Friday. She will graduate as a member of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Dubois said Houpt’s mother told him that her daughter had “worked so hard” to get her diploma.

Classmates Riley Howell, 21, of Waynesville, and Ellis Parlier, 19, of Midland, were killed in Tuesday’s shooting.

Ellis Reed Parlier
Ellis R. Parlier was killed in a shooting at UNCC April 30, 2019. Parlier enrolled in fall 2017 and planned to study computer science WBTV

Riley Howell
Riley Howell is being remembered as a hero after CMPD police chief says his heroic actions saved lives during the UNCC shooting. The Howell family

Students Drew Pescaro, 19, Rami Al-Ramadhan and Sean DeHart, both 20, also were injured.

Pescaro also remained hospitalized Thursday while Al-Ramadhan was released from the hospital, WBTV reported. DeHart was previously released, the Observer reported.

Houpt, who is from Charlotte, was recently named a spring intern for the World Affairs Council of Charlotte, the Observer previously reported. She has traveled extensively, including multiple countries in Europe, according to the council.

“My goal is to find a position with an organization that seeks to protect human rights in any way, be it through advocacy or service,” Houpt wrote on her LinkedIn page, the Observer reported.

The 22-year-old suspect, former student Trystan Andrew Terrell, had a first court appearance scheduled for Thursday afternoon but waived his right to appear before a judge.

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