Earlier this month, 18 year-old Kendrick Castillo was killed as he fought off a gunman who had invaded his Colorado high school. Kendrick, who was a devout Catholic, is now being honored for his bravery by the entire nation.
“A young man who followed Christ & laid down his life for others!” said Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila, who was in Italy. “May the Lord provide consolation to his family! I will offer Mass for Kendrick & his family here in Rome.”
John Castillo, Kendrick’s father, also spoke out to hail his son as a hero.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” John said of learning his son died saving others. “He cared enough about people that he would do something like that, even though it’s against my better judgment. I wish he had gone and hid, but that’s not his character. His character is about protecting people, helping people.”
“I had a hard time accepting that,” the emotional father continued. “He was the best kid in the world. My wife and I are in a haze. He was everything to us.”
John went on to describe his son as a patriotic young man who loved his country.
“He loved the patriotism,” John said. “We are Hispanic by nature, but we love America to the core. This wasn’t your average kid. He was extraordinary.”
Nui Giasolli, a fellow student at the school, recalled how Kendrick and a few of his classmates bravely lunged at the gunman.
“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,” Nui said, adding that the boys “were brave enough to bring him down so that all of us could escape and all of us could be reunited with our families. I can’t thank them enough.”
John said that as he and his wife mourn their son, their one wish is for Kendrick’s classmates was to heal, go to college, get married and start their own families surrounded by love. Find out more about this remarkable young man in the video below.