A group of Colorado teens attempted to tackle one of the shooters who opened fire at STEM School Highlands Ranch on Tuesday, leaving one dead and eight injured.
Kendrick Castillo, an 18-year-old student who was days away from graduation, has been identified as the sole victim killed. Castillo died trying to stop one of the shooters, allowing several of his classmates to escape, reports CBS News.
Nui Giasolli, a student at STEM, told NBC’s “Today” show that Castillo’s heroic actions gave the rest of her classmates time to hide underneath desks or flee to safety.
Castillo’s father said his son “was the best kid in the world.”
“I wish he had gone and hid,” Castillo said, “but that’s not his character. His character is about protecting people, helping people. I had a hard time accepting that.”
Fellow classmate Brendan Bialy was in the room with Castillo and tackled the gunman with him and another student.
“It was not a decision to go — when I saw Kendrick went up, I went up,” Bialy said at a press conference.
Bialy, who is set to join the U.S. Marines this summer, said he “couldn’t be more thankful” that Castillo did what he did.
Rachel Short, who employed Castillo at her manufacturing company, described him as a funny and empathetic person who loved others.
“To find that he went down as a hero, I’m not surprised. That’s exactly who Kendrick was,” she said.
One of the shooters has been identified as an 18-year-old male student and the other suspect is a “female juvenile,” according to Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock.
“We’re going to hear about very heroic things that have taken place at the school,” Spurlock said.
Last week, Riley Howell lost his life trying to stop a shooter at the University of North Carolina Charlotte, undoubtedly saving others.
Like Castillo, Howell was described as the type of person who took care of and respected others.
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