CHARLOTTE, N.C.- The man charged with killing two North Carolina university students and wounding four others in their classroom in April pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of first-degree murder.
Trystan Andrew Terrell also pleaded guilty Thursday to four counts of attempted murder and discharge of a firearm on educational property. State prosecutors accepted Terrell's plea during a hearing that was previously scheduled to decide whether the gunman could face the death penalty for the killings at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
The shooting at UNCC happened on April 30.
Terrell admitted from the beginning that he went to the Kennedy Building armed to kill that day. He recounted the shooting in detail to detectives hours later.
Terrell was sentenced to two life sentences without parole.
Riley Howell, 21, of Waynesville, and Ellis Reed Parlier, 19, of Midland, died after each was shot multiple times, their autopsies said.
"Your honor, the defendant took our son," Reed Parlier's mother, Julie Parlier, said after the plea deal.
"Today, we finish what Riley started," Riley Howell's mother, Natalie Howell, said.
Terrell apologized to the victims' families inside the courtroom.
"I'm so sorry," Terrell said. "I made a mistake."
Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather held a news conference Thursday afternoon outside of the courtroom.
"Today brings justice to the man who brought unspeakable harm to the victims, survivors and their families," Merriweather said.
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