riley howell

Matthew Westmoreland via AP / Associated Press

WAYNESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A University of North Carolina-Charlotte student who was killed when he tackled a gunman who opened fire inside a classroom has been posthumously awarded military honors.

Buncombe County Schools

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina has announced it will establish the Riley Howell Foundation Fund in honor of the Waynesville college student who died during last month's shooting on the campus of UNC Charlotte.  The fund will support families affected by gun violence.

Jess Stone/Smoky Mountain News

The body of Riley Howell was returned to his hometown of Waynesville Thursday via a procession of police that traveled from Charlotte.  Howell and a fellow UNC Charlotte student were killed Tuesday after a gunman started firing into a classroom on campus.  Howell died after tackling the guman, saving untold numbers of lives according to police.

UNC Charlotte

Tuesday's shooting at UNC Charlotte has been felt in several Western North Carolina communities, including Asheville and Waynesville.  Although Charlotte may seem a world away, when the names of the two deceased were announced Wednesday morning, tiny Waynesville in Haywood County learned it had lost one of its own.

Buncombe County Schools

One of the two UNC Charlotte students killed in a shooting on campus Tuesday evening was a native of Waynesville and a graduate of T.C. Roberson High School in Asheville.  21-year-old Riley Howell is being hailed as a hero for rushing the suspected gunman during the shooting, preventing further loss of life.