Hero Teen Gave Life for Fellow Students

Local Knights help family of teen slain in school shooting

Hero Teen Gave Life for Fellow Students
Kendrick Castillo and his father, John Castillo. Courtesy of Council 4844 Kendrick Castillo and his father, John Castillo. Courtesy of Council 4844 Kendrick Castillo and his father, John Castillo. Courtesy of Council 4844 Kendrick Castillo and his father, John Castillo. Courtesy of Council 4844 Kendrick Castillo and his father, John Castillo. Courtesy of Council 4844

By Rhina Guidos, Catholic News Service

Kendrick Castillo, the 18-year-old credited with saving the lives of his schoolmates when he lunged at a shooter at Denver's STEM School Highlands Ranch, wanted to join his father as a member of the Knights of Columbus. To honor his heroism, a local council of the Catholic organization is helping to cover the costs of the young man’s funeral.

The high school senior was killed just days before his graduation from the school where the shooting took place. He was the only one killed in the May 7 shooting, although eight other students were injured. Two suspects, also students of the school, have been arrested.

Southwest Denver Council 4844 has set up a fund to assist the teen’s parents, John and Maria Castillo, with funeral expenses. Among other achievements, the teen had taken part in 2,600 hours of service with the Knights, along with his father. Council 4844's Facebook page posted several photos of Castillo, including one of the boy and his father together at a council event wearing aprons with the K of C emblem. One of the organization's members told a local station that the boy often took part in events with his father.

On May 9, John J. Doherty, Colorado state deputy for the Knights of Columbus, wrote on the organization's website that Castillo "desired to be a Knight, his Dad is a Knight; let's treat him and his family like the Knight he was in his heart, let us be there for him and his family!" Simply put, he wrote, Castillo was "a young Catholic boy, with the heart of Christ," and added that he was "the very essence of what it is to be a Knight of Columbus, a young man of Charity, Unity, Fraternity."

“This young man was undoubtedly a Knight in his heart," Doherty wrote. "I saw the pictures of him and his father in aprons at a Knights event and I was struck by the big smile on his face; he was happy there. This young man glorified God through his selfless action in sacrificing his life so his friends might live."

Copyright ©2019 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

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