DENVER – A memorial service was held Wednesday for 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo, the student killed in the shooting at the STEM School Highlands Ranch.
Castillo was killed while lunging at one of the shooting suspects in the attack. He and two other students helped bring down the suspect, saving countless lives inside the school. Castillo is being hailed a hero for his selfless actions.
The service got underway shortly after 1 p.m. at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch following a procession that included dozens of Jeeps, Castillo’s beloved SUV.
Outside of the church, two robots held a banner that said Castillo, a member of the school’s robotics club, was a “A Hero 4 Heroes.”
Pastor Dan DeMey called on mourners to move from the “why” to the “what,” instead choosing to focus on “the incredible young man that Kendrick was.”
Castillo was known for his smarts as a robotics student and for his giving heart. He often volunteered alongside his father at the Knight’s of Columbus chapter in southwest Denver.
Castillo’s STEM school classmates and teachers shared stories about his love for robotics.
“It just felt right from the moment he walked in,” teacher Mike Shallenberger said, recalling a robotics open house Castillo attended when he arrived at the STEM school. “I couldn’t tell if he was made for our school or our school was made for him. Soon it would be like he owned the place, and he did.”
Shallenberger also said “the best way to honor and celebrate Kendrick is to be more like him. “I think we need to be a little more like Kendrick.”
“He died for us,” Dakota Mann, a member of the robotics team and a mentor to Castillo, said. “Now it’s time for us to live for him.”
Governor Polis declared May 15 as ” Kendrick Castillo Day” in Colorado. “Rest in peace, Kendrick,” Polis tweeted. “Your bravery won’t be forgotten.”
I declare today Kendrick Castillo Day in Colorado as we remember the life of the 18-year-old hero who died saving others in last week's STEM School shooting in Highlands Ranch.
Rest In Peace, Kendrick. Your bravery won't be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/erjvq4qAr9
— Jared Polis (@GovofCO) May 15, 2019
Knight’s of Columbus chapter in southwest Denver has agreed to assist Castillo’s family with funeral expenses. They also named Castillo as a member of the organization posthumously.
Anyone interested in helping Castillo’s family can donate to the Kendrick Castillo Memorial Fund through Wells Fargo Bank through cash, check or transfer.