STEM School Highlands Ranchin Denver was witness to a shootingthat killed one of the students there and injured eight others. This horrific shooting would have resulted in far more injuries,or deaths had Kendrick Castillo, the brave student who lost his life in the shooting, not lunged at the student who started shooting. This distraction gave the rest of the students at the school sufficient time to run and hide said a classmate, as well as Kendrick’s family.
His grief-stricken dad, John Castillo, said he thanks God that others are alive because his son did what he did. He said his son was always a hero and that people loved him as much as did he.
The Shooting That Took Place
The 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo was sitting in his British literature classwatching “The Princess Bride” when the shooter suddenly pulled out his gun and warned everyone not to move. Kendrick paid no heed to the warning and lunged at the shooter. Three students from the same class followed Kendrick’s lead and tackled the gunman in an attempt to subdue him. This gave the rest of the students the time to escape from the room.
An Extraordinary Boy
Kendrick, an only child, had always been extraordinary and selfless and his father said, it’s exactly what caused him to lose his life. He went on to add that Kendrick had many close friends including students that were part of the robotics team at school. They exchanged holiday gifts and would chip in when one of them didn’t have money for movie tickets and were extremely close to each other.
Kendrick first attended Catholic school,and he grew up speaking both English and Spanish. He was very attached to his late grandfather (a Marine) who he used to go out camping and fishing with. John said that Kendrick was proud that his grandfather had a heroic past and that he too had the urge to live that legacy. Though they are Hispanic by nature, Castillo said that they love America immensely and are patriotic to the core.
Not One To Be A Victim
He and Maria, his wife, had raised their son to be strong and good,and they weren’t at all surprised when they were told that Kendrick ran toward the danger that faced him in the classroom. He was no average kid,and he would never be victimized.
Brendan Bialy, who was one of the other students that tackled the gunman said that Kendrick was barely a foot away from the shooter and didn’t think twice before jumping the gunman. Brendan said that Kendrick died a trooper and is a legend in his own right that his memory will stay with him for the rest of his life.
As soon as Bialy moved the weapon away from the shooter, he quickly checked on Castillo who wasn’t moving at all. A teacher tried to render some basic medical aid and Bialy,and other students tried to stop the bleeding, but he was gone.
The Shift In Mentality
This incident is a classic example of how there has been a paradigm shift in what people believe they have to do. Rather than fleeing, the mantra to surviving a situation like this one is to run, hide and fight.
Kendrick Castillo’s sacrifice wasn’t wasted,and his spontaneous act of bravery probably saved many other lives at the STEM School Highlands Ranch that day. As Castillo and Maria mourn the death of their son, they wish that his classmates heal from the incident, move on to college start their families and be surrounded by love.