'A local hometown hero': NC corn maze honors slain UNCC student

Riley Howell's hometown is honoring the hero who sacrificed his life during the University of North Carolina Charlotte shooting.

This year's "Cold Mountain Corn Maize" in Haywood County pays tribute to the young man by designing Riley's image into the maze with the word "hero."

Riley's family and the Tuscola High School ROTC were there Saturday to take donations for the Riley Howell Foundation.

"He's kinda like a local hometown hero," owner of Cold Mountain Corn Maize Skipper Russell said. "If he didn't do what he'd done, there's no telling how many people might have lost their life. So, he gave his life to save a bunch of them."

The maze will be open through October.

On Thursday, the man behind the shooting learned he will spend the rest of his life in jail.

He pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to two life sentences without parole.