DENVER, CO, U.S.A.
STUDENT, STEM SCHOOL, HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO
05/07/2019, HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO, U.S.A.
After a classmate pulled a gun at STEM School Highlands Ranch, Kendrick Castillo could not remain still. He was surrounded by the friends he considered family who were all in danger. Kendrick was shot and killed as he charged the shooter giving other students time to escape, according to Kendrick’s family.
“I know that because of what he did, others are alive, and I thank God for that. I love him. And he is a hero and he always will be,” his dad, John Castillo, said.
“He just loved people that much.”
Kendrick was an only child, but his friends, including the members of the school’s robotics team, were like his siblings, his father said. “Being selfless, that’s what my son was, and it got him killed, but he saved others,” Castillo said.
Kendrick grew up speaking English and Spanish in suburban Denver. He spent time fishing and camping with his grandfather who had served in the Marine Corps.
“Kendrick was proud of him, proud that his grandfather was a hero,” Mr. Castillo said. “Part of me knows that Kendrick wanted to live that legacy.”
The teenager had kept the flag that once draped his grandfather’s casket close to him and would pray and kiss his tombstone at Fort Logan National Cemetery.
“He loved the patriotism,” John Castillo added. “We are Hispanic by nature, but we love America to the core.”
John Castillo and his wife Maria were not surprised to learn that their son ran toward danger. They raised him to be responsible and “to be good.”
“This wasn’t your average kid,” John Castillo said. “He was extraordinary.”
“Kendrick Castillo died a legend. He died a trooper. I know he will be with me for the rest of my life,” explained Brendan Bialy, a student.
As John and Maria Castillo mourn their son, they wish for Kendrick’s classmates to heal, go to college, get married and start their own families surrounded by love.