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'That Was My Son's Nature': Kendrick Castillo Was a Hero Who Gave His Life to Save Others in CO School Shooting

Kendrick Castillo, 18, gave his life to stop the school shooters at STEM School Highlands Ranch.

The student who police say tackled a gunman during Tuesday's school shooting in Colorado is being remembered as a hero.

Wednesday night a vigil was held to honor 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo and the eight students who were hurt in the shooting at the STEM School Highlands Ranch.

Castillo died protecting his classmates, leaping from his desk and charging the two school shooters to give other students a chance to escape.

"He did what he had to do, and I knew that was my son's nature. That was who he was," Kendrick's father John Castillo said.

"When I see the people that he saved it makes me happy. I know my son wouldn't have it any other way. But as any parent would tell you, it's a heck of a trade," he continued.

Kendrick's friends say he was friendly, had an infectious smile and gentle sense of humor.

"He was amazing," said Cecilia Bedard, 19, who knew Castillo since elementary school. "He was honestly the sweetest kid I ever met. Never said a mean joke."

READ: How to Talk to Your Children About School Shootings

Evangelist Franklin Graham honored Castillo and called for prayer saying, "We hurt for Kendrick's family. Rather than celebrate his graduation this week, his loved ones and friends are mourning the loss of his life. Would you especially pray for them right now and for the eight who were injured at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado? Kendrick's heroism and sacrifice will not be forgotten."

Another student is also being hailed as a hero for risking his life to disarm one of the shooters. Brendan Bialy is a high school senior and is hoping to become a US Marine.

"His decisive actions resulted in the safety and protection of his teachers and fellow classmates," Marine Capt. Michael Maggiti said.

The 18-year-old Bialy said he, Kendrick, and a third student had charged the gunman on Tuesday to stop him.

Meanwhile, the Denver Post reports students protested and walked out of one of the vigils Wednesday night after Democratic politicians and gun control advocates spoke. The students said they just wanted to talk about their classmates. They eventually returned to the vigil to speak.

The suspects in the attack were in court Thursday, facing nearly 30 charges including murder and attempted murder.

The STEM School Highlands Ranch is just minutes away from Columbine High School where 12 students and one teacher were murdered in 1999 in one of the earliest and worst school shootings.

MORE: 'I Hate...All These Christians Who Hate Gays': Details Emerge About Suspects in Deadly CO School Shooting


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