Ellis Parlier, one of the two students who died during the mass shooting at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte campus, was a promising teenager who intended to pursue a career as a game developer.
“The family is still in shock and grieving over their loss,” a family friend told Liz Foster of WSOC9. Parlier, 19, was known as Reed to some.
In addition to the two students who died, at least four people were injured – three critically – in the active shooting. “The entire UNC Charlotte community shares the shock and grief of this senseless, devastating act. This was an attack on all of Niner Nation,” the chancellor wrote in a statement. The other student who died was Riley Howell, an ROTC cadet who was credited with trying to jump on the gunman to stop him. You can read more about Howell here.
UNCC Chancellor Philip Dubois said during an appearance on WBT Radio that the victims killed in the shooting have been identified as Parlier, of Midland, North Carolina, and Howell, 21, of Waynesville, North Carolina. Drew Pescaro, 19, of Apex, North Carolina; Sean Dehart, 20, of Apex, North Carolina; Rami Alramadhan, 20, of Saudi Arabia; and Emily Houpt, 23, of Charlotte, have been identified by Dubois as the injured victims.
The shooting was in the class of a lecturer, Adam Johnson, who wrote on Twitter, “I’m not sure if I want to share anything but to clarify any rumors. Yes, there was a shooting in my class today. It was during team presentations in LBST2213 which is framed as #Anthropology and #Philosophy of #Science. My students are so special to me and I am devastated.” He said he won’t share details or talk to the news media.
The gunman did not know the victims, police said.
Here’s more information about Ellis Parlier’s life:
The Chancellor Said That Ellis Reed Parlier Loved Video Games & Wanted to Be a Game Developer
Ellis “Reed” Parlier, of Midland, NC, “was a 19-year-old who intended to pursue a Computer Science major after enrolling at UNC Charlotte in Fall of 2017,” UNCC’s chancellor wrote in a statement.
“Reed loved video games and aspired to one day become a game developer. Reed was a graduate of the highly regarded Central Academy of Technology and Arts, where he studied in the Information Systems academy. He was generous with his time and talents, volunteering as a computer programming tutor for middle school students. Reed’s professors describe him as independent and motivated. We will not forget Reed.”
He added: “Our faculty have approved Degrees in Memoriam for both Riley and Reed, and I have reached out to each of their families. We will do everything we can to lift them up over the difficult days, weeks, and months ahead.”
Ellis Parlier Graduated From Central Academy of Technology and Arts in Union County in 2017
Ellis Reed Parlier was a 2017 graduate of Central Academy of Technology and Arts in the Union County Public Schools district, a spokesperson told the Greenville News.
“It’s very shocking as you can imagine. Our community is still in shock in dealing with this loss,” Tahira Stalberte, the district spokesperson, told the newspaper. “The news is still very fresh in our community.” The high school’s spokesperson told Daily Beast that Parlier was “a joy to have in the classroom.”
Parlier was an honors student at the school and was focused on information technology.
“I can’t offer any simple solutions, God is sovereign and gracious,” said Rev. Luke Maybry, pastor at a vigil for Ellis Reed Parlier.
Sadly, a woman posted on Facebook before Parlier’s death was announced, writing, “UNCC Family, does anyone know a Reed Parlier? His parents can’t get in contact with him.” Another woman responded on the thread, “was sitting with his aunt in the emergency room last night. She was trying to find him. Is there anyway to get her name? We were trying everything to help her find him. I knew I should have gotten her name before she left. We were there for another student. It’s breaking my heart that we could not do more.”
Parlier’s Aunt Says He Will ‘Fly With the Angels’
Parlier’s aunt shared a photo of him and wrote on Facebook, “This is our nephew, Reed. His and Riley’s lives were taken far too soon in a senseless act.” She also wrote of both young men: “Fly with the angels ??????.”
She added: “I cannot imagine the pain his immediate family is going through but I know it took the breath right out of my body.”
One woman wrote on Facebook that her son knew Parlier. His “friend, Ellis Parlier, was shot and killed yesterday during the shooting at UNC Charlotte. They both graduated High School last year. THAT COULD’VE BEEN MY SON!! We are devastated for his family. Please help us pray for them,” she wrote.
“What is happening to our country? We can’t go to the movies, the mall, concerts, jobs…not even SCHOOL or CHURCH without fear of being shot. I’M SO TIRED OF THIS SH*T!!!! #UNCCStrong.”
The Chancellor Declared the Deaths of Ellis Parlier & Riley Howell the ‘Saddest Day in UNC Charlotte’s History’ & Called the Shooting ‘the Unthinkable’
The chancellor released a statement that declared “this is the saddest day in UNC Charlotte’s history. Earlier this evening, the unthinkable happened on our campus.” He said that he had reached out to the families of Parlier and Howell and pledged that “we are there 24-7 to support their recovery.” He said there is also a vigil being held on Wednesday night.
The chancellor wrote that “an individual opened fire in a UNC Charlotte classroom, cutting short the lives of two members of our community and seriously injuring four others.”
Families of the deceased were being notified and university staff were with those who are injured, the chancellor wrote.
He added, “The days ahead will be some of the most challenging we have ever encountered. All I can say for certain is that we will get through them together. “
“⚠️Scene secure. One in custody. No reason to believe anyone else involved,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police tweeted after Trystan Andrew Terrell was arrested in the mass shooting. Terrell is a former history student at the university.
“CMPD and UNCC going room by room on campus to identify any students, faculty or others who may be sheltering in place,” the police said.
“My school is a fu*king hashtag,” wrote one woman on Twitter. “I was in the building when the shooting happened. Hearing bodies fall above you and hearing people screaming is terrifying. Trying to exit the scene of ANOTHER senseless school shooting is ridiculous. Rest In Peace to those lost souls.”
Students Said the Shooter Opened Fire During a Presentation
“The class the suspect attacked was Science, Technology and Society with Professor Adam Johnson,” the student newspaper, NinerTimes.com, reported.
Students took to social media to express their feelings.
Tristan Field wrote on Twitter, “The shooter at UNCC didn’t say anything. He just started shooting during our final presentations and we all ran out. I’m praying for everyone that got hit and UNC Charlotte as a whole. #CharlotteStrong.”
He added, “Why would anyone do this. We were just doing presentations and someone started shooting up the room. We didn’t do anything but our work. Stay safe UNCC.”
People started running into the hallways, screaming shooter, one student told CBS17. Students put a table in front of the door and turned the lights out, he said. Another student described being barricaded in a room until students heard a police officer ask if anyone else was in there.
In a news conference, the UNCC police chief, Jeff Baker, praised the heroism of several police officers who were able to take the shooter into custody. “He never had time to get out of the room,” said the chief, adding that the gunman was “armed with a pistol.”
The 911 caller had stated that several students were shot, according to Baker, who added that the suspect was “not somebody on our radar.”
“Very chaotic scene, everyone terrified, classrooms are locked, students are inside,” wrote a witness who live-tweeted the shooting.
Sadness flooded Twitter. “I really am sitting here just slow crying over the shooting at my home for 5 years at unc Charlotte. I’m sick, hurt, and angry. And I’m so sorry to the students who were killed, injured, and for their family and friends. This is a horrible day,” wrote one woman, echoing others.