Back in late April of this year, there was a school shooting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. It’s referred to as UNCC by locals. 22-year-old Trystan Andrew Terrell entered a classroom armed with a handgun with which he shot and killed two people and injured four more. He was wrestled to the ground before he could hurt anyone else and was held until police arrived.
About a week and a half ago, Terrell pleaded guilty to murder charges. Under the plea deal, Terrell was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. Many of those affected by Terrell’s selfish actions were disappointed at the plea deal hoping that he would receive the death penalty. While I share their sentiment, no one has been executed by the state of North Carolina in 13 years.
Since Terrell had no previous criminal record, it wasn’t difficult for him to purchase a firearm in the Tarheel State. Having lived there myself I can tell you that it’s not hard to obtain a gun there at all.
Defense attorneys argued that since Terrell had been diagnosed with Autism, the death penalty would be considered cruel and unusual punishment. Conversely, Terrell had been planning a school shooting since August of 2018 and constantly practiced at the shooting range.
No motive for the shooting has ever been made public. However, due to his reported inability to deal with social situations, I would bet that he had some kind of manufactured grudge against students at the school much like Cho Seung-Hui manufactured a persecution complex against the supposed ‘rich kids’ at Virginia Tech.
Autism does not cause people to plan elaborate school shootings and as such Terrell was a perfect candidate for the death penalty. What’s cruel and unusual is the way he selfishly murdered his victims for no discernible reason.