Thousands of people gathered Wednesday in Colorado to honor the life of Kendrick Castillo — the courageous high school student who was killed while attempting to stop last week’s STEM school shooting.
A ceremony was held at the Cherry Hill Community Church in Highlands Ranch, where Castillo’s family and friends celebrated him with local community members.
“You all know his name. He died for us,” said one pal, who spoke on stage. “Now it’s time for all of us to live for him.”
Surrounded by mementos and some of Castillo’s personal belongings — including a kayak — the teen’s classmates and loved ones took turns remembering him, along with his teachers and fellow Knights of Columbus members.
“Kendrick you will be missed but you will never be forgotten,” said Joseph Nguyen, a member of the group.
“I have always believed one person can make a difference,” added Charlene Molis, Castillo’s former principal at Notre Dame Catholic School, where the teen went up until ninth grade.
“Kendrick Castillo was certainly proof that one person can make a difference,” she said.
The teen’s father, John Castillo, was taken back by all the support he received.
“There’s so much love in the room,” he said. “We had so much love from Kendrick.”
Many of those who spoke Wednesday during the ceremony were on the STEM School Highlands Ranch robotics team, of which Castillo was a member.
“It just felt right from the moment he walked in,” said robotics teacher Mike Shallenberger, who noted how impressed he was with Castillo.
“I couldn’t tell if he was made for our school or our school was made for him,” he added. “Soon it would be like he owned the place, and he did.”
Castillo was attempting to stop last week’s shooting when he was fatally shot in the chest, according to police. Cops say he rushed one of the two suspects during their rampage to subdue them.
“The best way to honor and celebrate Kendrick is to be more like him,” Shallenberger said. “I think we need to be a little more like Kendrick.”
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