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UNC Charlotte shooting victim tweets video of his first steps after 13 days in hospital

UNCC shooting victim, Drew Pescaro takes his first steps in the hospital

Drew Pescaro was wounded in a shooting at UNCC. After 13 days in the hospital, he posted a video of his first steps without a walker.
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Drew Pescaro was wounded in a shooting at UNCC. After 13 days in the hospital, he posted a video of his first steps without a walker.

UNC Charlotte student Drew Pescaro, who was wounded in a shooting at the school last month, has taken his first steps after 13 days in the hospital.

The 19-year-old tweeted video of the big moment on Monday.

“Update: Day 13, took my first steps without a walker today, so I felt the need to share it with everyone,” Pescaro posted from the hospital.

The 21-second video, which has been viewed 17,000 times and gotten 1,500 reactions, shows Pescaro in a hospital gown, rolling an IV stand as he walks with an unsteady gait down the hospital’s hallway.

He is aided by a hospital staffer holding him steady by one arm.

The specific wounds Pescaro suffered in the shooting have not been detailed. However, he has had at least two surgeries while in the hospital, according to updates posted on his Twitter page.

Pescaro was among six students shot — two of them fatally — in a UNCC classroom on April 30. A former student, 22-year-old Trystan Terrell, has been charged in the shootings.

Investigators have not yet detailed a motive.

BEHIND OUR REPORTING

Why we named the UNCC shooting suspect

After the fatal shooting April 30 at UNC Charlotte, some people on social media urged The Observer and other media outlets not to name the suspect or show his face. They argued that mass shooters seek notoriety, and news outlets should not reward them with it.

We understand and appreciate this sentiment, and debated in the newsroom about whether to name the suspect. In the end, we decided that any harm of naming him and showing his image was outweighed by the public’s right and need to know a key fact from an event of such huge public importance.

At The Observer, we believe it is important, almost all of the time, to give our readers all the relevant information we can on news of our city, region and state. We believe that the public deserves to know what we know, and we don’t want to hide information from them, except in certain cases where it could harm an innocent person, such as a rape victim. The logic that would lead us to withhold the suspect’s name in this case could be used to argue for withholding other salient facts from other stories.

By not naming him, we arguably are not holding him accountable.

We understand that some readers will not want to see his name or face; many other readers will.

It’s a difficult issue. We agree that the suspect should not be glorified or given a spotlight. And so we have intentionally not run his photograph prominently, in print or online.

At The Observer, we constantly make judgment calls. In this case, we believe the people’s right to know facts of public importance overrides concerns about giving the suspect undeserved attention.

The two killed students were identified by the university as Ellis Parlier, 19, of Midland, and Riley Howell, 21, of Waynesville. The four wounded included Pescaro, who is from Apex, and Rami Alramadhan, 20, of Saihat, Saudia Arabia; Sean Dehart, 20, of Apex; and Emily Houpt, 23, of Charlotte.

Pescaro has tweeted a few times while in the hospital, including a Mother’s Day post thanking his mom.

“I can’t say enough about my Mom who has been supporting me through this whole process,” he tweeted. “So much time has been devoted towards getting me better and she has been at the head of all of it. I love her very much.”

His visitors have included representatives of the Charlotte Hornets and Carolina Panthers, including Panthers players Chris Hogan and D.J. Moore.

UNCC senior Krysta Dean was in a nearby classroom when shots rang out on April 30, 2019. "(What) was going through my head was I could very well die today," Dean said. "I was mentally preparing myself for what it would be like to get shot."

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