CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In a first of its kind for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, the Medal of Valor was awarded posthumously to a citizen. The family of Riley Howell, the UNC Charlotte student who was killed during a shooting on campus last month, was there Wednesday morning to accept it on his behalf.
CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said Howell’s actions -- sacrificing his life in rushing a gunman at UNC Charlotte on April 30 to save others -- merited the award traditionally reserved for officers.
>> Several others were awarded for their bravery and selfless actions on Wednesday. WATCH the video above for a look at who else CMPD chose to honor.
“The only thing we could do as an organization is recognize that, lift him up for the way that he lived his life,” Putney said.
UNC CHARLOTTE TRAGEDY FULL COVERAGE:
- NC high schools sell bracelets to raise money for 'Riley Howell Foundation'
- 'My superhero doesn't wear a cape': Riley Howell's loved ones say final goodbye
- Riley Howell's family reflects on impact UNCC student had on others
- Hundreds line streets as heroic UNCC students's body escorted home
- 'I want that to be his legacy': Heroic UNCC student tackled gunman
- UNCC alum, NFL player Larry Ogunjobi finds new hero in Riley Howell
It was part of a broader awards ceremony that saw dozens of citizens honored for great acts of service.
Cox Media Group