CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The suspect in the deadly shooting on the campus of the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC) waived his rights to appear in court Thursday.
Trystan Terrell, 22, did not make a court appearance in person or on video. Instead, a public defender appeared in court on his behalf.
Judge Ron Chapman provided a brief comment on the decision. “He is entitled to a first appearance where the charge are presented to him, where he understands what the charges are. However, there is a statue that allows him to waive that and my response to his request to waive is non-discretionary.”
Mike Kabakoff, Terrell’s public defender, explained the decision to waive his rights, “Not in this particular case but in general that right is often waived on advice and recommendation by counsel - which in this case is me. But as the court indicated that is his right. On suggestion of counsel somebody might choose not to be here.”
The deadly shooting happened in a classroom on UNCC’s campus on April 30. Sources say witnesses told investigators that Terrell started shouting and began shooting randomly - not at specific targets.
UNC Charlotte police say when dispatch got the call for the shooting, officers raced over and they simultaneously locked down the campus and were able to catch the suspect immediately. The lockdown was later lifted Wednesday morning almost 12 hours after the shooting.
University officials identified the victims killed in the shooting as 21-year-old Riley C. Howell of Waynesville, NC and 19-year-old Ellis R. Parlier of Midland, NC. The four injured in the shooting were identified by officials as 20-year-old Rami Alramadhan of Saudia Arabia, 20-year-old Sean Dehart of Apex, NC, 23-year-old Emily Houpt of Charlotte, and 19-year-old Drew Pescaro of Apex, NC.
Terrell was charged with two counts of murder, four counts of attempted murder, four counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, possession of firearm on educational property and discharging firearm on educational property.
According to sources, Terrell made a full confession to investigators during his questioning at CMPD.
According to UNC Charlotte officials, Terrell enrolled at UNC Charlotte in Fall of 2018 and withdrew on Feb. 14, 2019.
Police told WBTV they rushed to the the suspect’s house on East 36th Street in Charlotte after he was taken into custody. WBTV was at CMPD headquarters as he was walked inside.
There is no word yet on when Terrell is due back in court.