Crime & Courts

Suspect in UNC Charlotte shooting indicted for murder, attempted murder, assault

A Mecklenburg County grand jury has indicted Trystan Andrew Terrell, who’s accused in last week’s classroom shooting that killed two UNC Charlotte students, on murder, attempted murder and assault charges.

The indictments cancel a scheduled May 15 court date for Terrell in District Court. No court date has been scheduled in Superior Court, where the case will be heard.

UNCC students Reed Parlier, 19, of Midland and Riley Howell, 21, of Waynesville died in the April 30 shooting inside a campus classroom. Four more students were injured: Rami Alramadhan, 20, of Saihat, Saudia Arabia; Sean Dehart, 20, of Apex; Emily Houpt, 23, of Charlotte; and Drew Pescaro, 19, of Apex.

The indictments, handed down Monday, offer no additional details about the shooting. No bond has been set on the two murder charges, according to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office website.

The indictments charge Terrell with two counts of murder, four counts of attempted first-degree murder, four counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, one count of possessing a firearm on educational property and one count of discharging a weapon on educational property.

The shooting shocked the nearly 30,000-student UNCC campus on the final day of spring classes. Terrell had been taking the course on science and technology before withdrawing earlier in the semester, sources told The Observer.

It also stunned Terrell’s family: “Never in a million years would you have thought he could do this,” Terrell’s grandfather, Paul Rold of Arlington, Texas, told The Observer last week. “It’s still up in the air what motivated him.”

Parlier’s family remembered him as an “intelligent, independent thinker with a great sense of humor and a sweet, quiet, loving soul,” his obituary said. He had a lifelong interest in technology and was studying computer science at UNCC, it said. The family gathered privately last week.

Police hailed Howell as a hero for tackling the shooter before he was fatally shot, saving other lives. His family and others who knew him said that was typical of the strapping, kind-hearted young man. More than 1,000 people attended his funeral Sunday at Lake Junaluska, near his hometown.

UNCC Chancellor Philip Dubois has said the university will undertake an extensive external review of response to the shooting. But first will come commencement as planned on Friday and Saturday. Houpt, one of the shooting survivors, is expected to walk across the stage to receive her degree, Dubois said last week.

UNCC said Tuesday it has created a Niner Nation Remembers website to honor Howell, Parlier and the students wounded in the attack, and a commission to guide the school in how to memorialize the slain students.

The new website includes information from the week of the shooting, a photo gallery and a video of the campus vigil held in response. It also lets individuals share personal thoughts on the tragedy.