things that matter

The Parents Of The Student Who Died In The Colorado Shooting Are Not Surprised He Would Sacrifice Himself For His Classmates

Kendrick Castillo sacrificed his life for his classmates.

Castillo’s parents were on CNN this week and spoke about how they raised their son to be the kind of person to help people. They are devastated that they will never see their son again but are not surprised that he would sacrifice his life to save his classmates.

Five months into the year and our country have endured 18,255 incidences of gun violence, 115 mass shootings, and 4,804 deaths — and each one of them matters. The latest shooting to make national headlines happened yesterday at STEM School Highlands Ranch just outside of Denver. Eight people were injured in the shooting and one died. His name is Kendrick Castillo and people are saying that he died a hero.

Kendrick Castillo, an 18-year-old student, was shot and killed yesterday at his school. Eight others were injured.

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The school shooting occurred at the STEM School Highlands Ranch in Denver, Colorado — just a few miles from Columbine High School. According to media reports, there were two shooters and they are suspected to be students as well.

“Two individuals walked into the STEM school, got deep inside the school and engaged students in two separate locations,” Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said, according to NBC News.

Castillo died trying to stop the shooter and save the lives of his classmates.

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His father, John Castillo, confirmed to NBC News that his son died in the shooting. Castillo and another student charged at one the shooters which blocked the shooter from aiming at other students.

“He was the best kid in the world,” John said to The Denver Post this morning. “It doesn’t surprise me. He cared enough about people that he would do something like that, even though it’s against my better judgment.”

John added, “I wish he had gone and hid, but that’s not his character. His character is about protecting people, helping people.”

“The next thing I know is [the shooter] is pulling a gun and he’s telling nobody to move, and that’s when Kendrick lunged at him,” classmate Nui Giasolli said on the “Today” show. “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.”

People on social media are remembering how incredibly caring Castillo was and also bringing attention to ending gun violence.

Castillo was supposed to graduate later this week. He was an intern at Bacara USA, a manufacturing company. According to Rachel Short, the CEO of the company, Castillo was so impressive in his internship that he was offered a part-time job.

“To find he went down as a hero, I’m not surprised,” Short told USA Today. “That’s exactly who Kendrick was.”

There has been an outpouring of support and grief over the news of Castillo’s tragic death.

Credit: @AMarch4OurLives / Twitter

“I don’t want to give the shooters the satisfaction of being afraid of someplace that was my second home for four years,” Giasolli told NBC News. “I want to show them that even though they did this terrible, terrible thing, that we can all come together and we can all make it a happy place again because that’s what really matters.”

Castillo was part of the robotics team during the four years of high school.

People across the country are grieving the senseless violence asking why this has to be the norm.

Credit: @kwell / Twitter

There is a public health crisis in the U.S. tied to the proliferation of guns. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), the only option is “a comprehensive public health response and solution.”

“With approximately 30,000 men, women and children dying each year at the barrel of a gun in elementary schools, movie theaters, workplaces, houses of worship and on live television, the United States faces a public health crisis of gun violence,” AMA President Steven J. Stack, M.D, said in a statement about the gun crisis. “Even as America faces a crisis unrivaled in any other developed country, the Congress prohibits the CDC from conducting the very research that would help us understand the problems associated with gun violence and determine how to reduce the high rate of firearm-related deaths and injuries. An epidemiological analysis of gun violence is vital so physicians and other health providers, law enforcement, and society at large may be able to prevent injury, death and other harms to society resulting from firearms.”

Mainly, people are sick and tired of children having to sacrifice their own lives to save their peers.

Credit: @kristaanne0 / Twitter

The two suspects (a male and female) have been apprehended by authorities. The male is 18-year-old Devon Erickson and the female is an unnamed juvenile.

READ: From School Shootings To Change: Here’s What’s Happened Since The Tragic Shooting In Parkland, Florida

Latina Student Shares Horrifying Audio Recording Of Her Experience During Yesterday's Shooting

Things That Matter

Latina Student Shares Horrifying Audio Recording Of Her Experience During Yesterday’s Shooting

The7Dew | Getty Images | Edited by Mitú

Lillian Duarte is 15 years old and in the five years that she has been a student at the STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado she has taken part in almost 50 active shooter drills. Still, nothing could have prepared her for the worst of what happened yesterday when two shooters began to attack her school.

In a recent interview, the student shared pictures of the texts between her friends and family as well as audio of her experiencing listening to the shooting.

On Tuesday, May 7, two students entered the campus of STEM School Highlands Ranch, a charter school, around 2 pm and proceeded to attack students and teachers with guns.

Duarte who was in a math class at the time with 35 of her classmates heard a lockdown announcement over school speakers.

Duarte says that she, her teacher and peers initially experienced confusion when the announcement came on.

“The teacher paused for a second,” Duarte told Buzzfeed in an interview. “She wasn’t sure whether to lock the door or not. Everyone thought it was a drill at the time.”

Duarte says that initially she and her fellow students sat waiting in the classroom with the lights on to see what was happening.

It wasn’t until Duarte received a series of messages from her friends in a group chat that she realized something was wrong. The drill was real.

“Whoever’s doing it was in the room next to me,” one of her friends texted her in the group chat. “He yelled I have a gun.”

Duarte says that she showed the text messages to her teacher who then turned off all of the lights and moved the class to the back of the room as far away from the door as possible.

“Attention, please. Lockdown. Block lights. Out of sight,” is the automated announcement that blared on the speakers across the school repeatedly while Duarte and her classmates waited 20 minutes in the black of their classroom for police to rescue them.

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