UNC Charlotte shooting suspect skips reading of charges in court

The former student charged with two counts of murder after Tuesday’s shooting inside a University of North Carolina-Charlotte classroom chose not to appear in court at his first scheduled hearing Thursday afternoon.

Trystan Andrew Terrell, 22, was apprehended soon after police say he opened fire in a “Science, Technology and Society” class Tuesday afternoon. Two students were killed and four others were wounded in the attack.

Terrell lived in Mansfield, Texas, during his high school years before moving to North Carolina.

In addition to the two murder charges for the deaths of 21-year-old Riley Howell and 19-year-old Ellis Parlier, Terrell has been charged with four counts of attempted murder, four counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, discharging a firearm on educational property and possessing a gun on educational property, according to jail records.

Terrell told his court-appointed attorney he did not want to hear the charges against him read Thursday in the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, according to the Associated Press.

Terrell will remain in jail without bond at least until his next court appearance on May 15.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Kerr Putney called Howell a hero Wednesday, saying he tackled the shooter and knocked him down, likely saving lives.

All of the injured students are expected to recover, according to police and UNC Charlotte officials.

The rest of the students in the class and lecturer Adam Johnson managed to escape, joining dozens of other people on campus who hid or barricaded themselves in safe spaces to try to survive.

Funeral arrangements for Howell and Parlier were not yet finalized.

The shooting took place on the last day of classes for UNC Charlotte, just as the campus was getting ready for a Waka Flocka Flame concert. The concert was canceled.

In other developments:

  • CMPD officers in four marked police cars escorted the vehicle with Howell’s body to his hometown of Waynesville on Thursday morning.
  • University officials said 7,500 people attended a campus vigil Wednesday night. UNCC officially returned to standard operations later that night, although the final exam schedule has been shifted due to the shooting.
  • Graduation ceremonies will take place mostly as scheduled, according to the university.
  • UNCC on Wednesday launched a crowdfunding group “to support the victims and the UNC Charlotte community during this time of tragedy.” Donations of any dollar amount may be made online at the UNCC Niner Nation Unites page, or by calling 704-687-7211.

Heroes and a question emerge from UNC Charlotte shooting: Why did attacker open fire?

‘Our family, our friends, our sons.’ Honoring the UNCC students killed on campus

A calm classroom, then chaos. ‘The only thought in my mind was, ‘Don’t die here.’

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