Thousands gather at vigil to honor UNCC shooting victims


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — Thousands attended a vigil at UNC Charlotte Wednesday evening to honor the lives lost and those injured in the tragic campus shooting.

‘Charlotte strong’ is the motto students, staff and allies are sticking with just a day after tragedy struck on campus.

Tears and heartbreak filled the air at the vigil, but along with that came messages of love, strength and unity. A choir group— the Voices of Eden Gospel Choir– even broke out in song, filling the crowded area with sounds of hope.

“We’re just hoping that what we’re done is done in excellence and that God is getting the glory,” one member of the group said. 

So, when tragedy hit their campus, they turned to faith and music in the middle of campus.

“You’re trying to like, sing the song but try not to bust out in tears at the same time,” another member said.

One day after the gunman opened fire inside the Kennedy building, the campus community gathered to pay their respect to the lives lost, and those injured in the attack.  

“It really hits close to home when it’s here on your campus because you really don’t think it’s ever going to happen to your school until it does,” another Charlotte 49er told FOX 46.


Thousands were in the Student Activity Center for the vigil. They poured out into the Halton Arena later on.

“We are Niner Nation and we are Charlotte Strong,” a leader said during the vigil.

Banners in the rafters of the activity center recognize names of school greats, but it was a different set of names on Wednesday: Riley Howell and Ellis “Reed” Parlier.

The two killed and four injured that students are rallying behind. Drew Pescaro, 19, Sean DeHart, 20, Rami Alramadhan, 20 and Emily Houpt, 23 were thos hurt in the shooting.


One student told FOX 46 why he felt he had to be at the vigil. 

“If people don’t come out, if people are scared to come out, if people are fearful, evil won the battle,” he said.

And as far evil goes, the Eden Gospel Choir says there’s no room for it on their campus. That’s why they sang to a higher power to persevere.

“In this time you have to have something to hold onto that makes more sense than what you can make out of the natural world,” the choir member told FOX 46. 

The shooting suspect, Trystan Terrell, is expected to have his first appearance in court on Thursday. Police say the gun used in the shooting was purchased legally, and that the most troubling thing about this attack was that there were no warning signs.

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