Howell, 21, of Waynesville, and Reed Parlier, 19, of Midland, were killed when a shooter opened fire into a UNCC classroom during final presentations on April 30.
'His sacrifice saved lives:' Student killed in UNC Charlotte shooting died a hero
Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Chief Kerr Puttney said Howell "took the fight to the assailant" after determining he had no place to run or hide in the classroom.
"His sacrifice saved lives," Putney said.
Charlotte police said capturing the shooter may have taken longer without Howell.
Howell was an ROTC cadet and will be laid to rest with full military honors Sunday evening.