Kevin Castillo, the 18-year-old killed while trying to disarm one of the shooters during the attack at STEM School Highlands Ranch on May 7, was set to graduate in just three days.
According to reports, classmates have revealed how the heroic Castillo wrestled with one of the shooters. He was shot in the chest and died of his injuries, though his actions undoubtedly saved other students.
Student Nui Giasolli was in her British literature class when 18-year-old Devon Erickson entered late. He then pulled a gun out and told people to freeze.
Speaking on NBC, Gisasolli explained: “He walked back as if he was going to go back to his seat then he walked back to the door and he closed it. And the next thing I know he’s pulling a gun and he’s telling nobody to move.
“And that’s when Kendrick lunged at him, and he shot Kendrick, giving all of us enough time to get underneath our desks to get ourselves safe and to run across the room to escape.”
Castillo’s father, John Castillo, spoke to the Denver Post on Wednesday, confirming it was his son who had died and describing him as “the best kid in the world”.
“It doesn’t surprise me. He cared enough about people that he would do something like that, even though it’s against my better judgment,” Castillo said.
“I wish he had gone and hid, but that’s not his character. His character is about protecting people, helping people.”
After Castillo was shot, several other male students tackled Erickson, pinning him until police could arrive and make an arrest.
Today, the world mourns as yet another innocent life has been lost in completely abhorrent circumstances. Kevin Castillo died a hero, but his death is one that should have been preventable. Something needs to change, and simply wishing prayers and peace isn’t enough to do it.