• Community preps for concert in honor of UNCC shooting hero


    HAYWOOD COUNTY, N.C. - It's been two and a half months since the tragedy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

    Now, a Haywood County community is remembering one of the heroes in the attack.

    On April 30, Riley Howell tackled a gunman inside a UNCC classroom, helping to save the lives of his fellow classmates.

    ['His sacrifice saved lives': Police say UNCC shooting victim fought gunman]

    Howell sacrificed himself that day and this weekend a concert will help support his family by raising money for a foundation set up in his memory.

    Tee Capps manages the Creekwood Farm RV park.

    While working for a nursery last summer, she said Howell left his mark.

    “Every time I go by I think of Riley, those crape myrtles when they bloom,” Capps said. “I can still see him with the blonde curly hair out there planting trees."

    Capps said they got to know Riley for his work at the park and described him as an easy-going guy with a love for the outdoors.

    [Two young men tragically lost their lives at UNCC: Here's what we know about them]

    She said the concert on Saturday was planned a year ago.

    Lenoir-based Christian-country singer Shellem Cline is set for a return visit.

    Cline could literally picture that space because he attended UNCC and studied in the same classroom where Howell stepped in as the hero he was.

    “I can just imagine myself what would have happened if I was there,” Cline said. “There are plenty, plenty of families right now that need to be thanking God for Riley because their kids are home tonight."

    Immediately, it was evident to the community that the concert would be a free event to honor a hero.

    Cline wrote a new song inspired by Riley's heroism named “Thank God for Riley.”

    The song will debut at the concert.

    [ALSO READ: Hundreds line streets as heroic UNCC students's body escorted home]

    “The chorus just basically says he was more than just a student, more than just a friend,” said Cline. “Jump start his legacy and let his family know that we're standing right there with them and we support them.”

    The concert is scheduled for 6:30 in Jonathan Creek. Concertgoers will be able to make donations to the Riley Howell Foundation.

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