CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Lucasfilm and Star Wars have just made one of the UNCC shooting victims, Riley Howell, a "Jedi Master."
Howell will be in the next Star Wars book under the name Ril-lee Howell, a Jedi Master and historian.
His family said he was a huge star wars fan ever since he was little.
"RILEY BABY YOURE A JEDI MASTER!!!!!!!!!! It’s official!!!!!!! So so SO much excitement to have my sweet Ri immortalized forever in the Star Wars universe that he loves so much," Howell's girlfriend wrote on her Instagram.
Officials said Howell sacrificed himself to save his peers. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said Howell was fatally shot while attempting to physically confront and stop the shooter.
Chief Putney said Howell's sacrifice saved lives. Blocked inside a classroom, Putney said he had no option to run or hide, so he fought.
"He took the fight to the assailant. Unfortunately, he had to give his life to do so, but he saved lives doing so," Putney said about Howell. "He took the assailant off his feet, and the heroes that we have here were able to apprehend from there."
"Mr. Howell saved lives."
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RILEY BABY YOURE A JEDI MASTER!!!!!!!!!! It’s official!!!!!!! So so SO much excitement to have my sweet Ri immortalized forever in the Star Wars universe that he loves so much. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU MY LOVE!!!! 🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡 (to explain, Lucasfilm sent us a letter a while ago about making him into a character in a Star Wars book in the future just didn’t realize it would be so soon AND so WONDERFUL!!!!! all bc of his story and his love of Star Wars!!!!)