Family of UNC student who risked his life against gunman on campus speaks out

Riley Howell, the brave 21-year-old student at the University of North Carolina that fought the gunman, is laid to rest as his family reflects on his heroic actions.
1:41 | 05/04/19

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Transcript for Family of UNC student who risked his life against gunman on campus speaks out
Back here at home now to a family's unimaginable heartbreak. 21-year-old Riley Howell stepping up to save others when a gunman began firing at fellow students at unc-charlotte. That single act of courage giving police more time to respond and to save lives. His family speaking out tonight as they prepare to bury there -- their son. Here's ABC's erielle reshef. Reporter: From these horrifying moments at unc-charlotte. There's a shooter on the unc-charlotte campus. Reporter: 21-year-old Riley Howell emerging a hero. Absolutely, Mr. Howell saved lives, yes. Yes. But for his work, the assailant may not have been disarmed. Unfortunately, he gave his life in the process. Reporter: His loss, a gaping hole for his parents and three The color drained out of the world that moment. Reporter: A gunman opening fire inside his anthropology class Tuesday. Riley's final act, knocking the assailant to the ground before being fatally shot, along with 19-year-old Ellis Parlier. To his family, that sack official act of courage coming as no surprise, and as a source of comfort. We knew if he was in that room -- He would have done something. Like a huge weight off your shoulders and you thought, everything is right now. What are you supposed to do? Reporter: An emotional procession honoring Riley. People lining the streets of his hometown, waving American flags in tribute to a brother and son fallen, but not forgotten. Lots of pride in him. Never stops being proud. Reporter: And tonight, we have learned Riley, an environmental studies major and rotc cadet will be buried with military honors. He and Ellis Parlier will both receive posthumous degrees. His brother saying it best. They will not stop being proud of him. There is so much more on

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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