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.

Twitter/@shaunking

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.

Twitter/@shaunking

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

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Here’s Why The Attack On Atlanta’s Asian-American Community Is A Crime Against Us All

Things That Matter

Here’s Why The Attack On Atlanta’s Asian-American Community Is A Crime Against Us All

Although the United States is seeing a growing movement for racial equality and justice, thanks in part to a growing national Black Lives Matter movement, racial minorities in this country continue to face violence.

We don’t yet know the exact motives behind the recent attack on the Asian-American community in Atlanta that has left eight dead, but it comes amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.

Atlanta is mourning the loss of eight locals after gunman attacks Asian-American community.

A series of shootings over nearly an hour at three Atlanta-area massage parlors left eight people dead and raised fears that the attack was yet another hate crime against Asian-Americans.

The attacks began Tuesday when five people were shot at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor about 30 miles north of Atlanta. Two people died at the scene, and three were taken to a hospital where two died. About an hour later, police responding to a call about a robbery found three women dead from apparent gunshot wounds at another spa, near Atlanta’s Buckhead area. While there, the officers learned of a call reporting shots fired at another spa across the street, Aromatherapy Spa, and found another woman apparently shot dead.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden has been briefed on the “horrific shootings” and administration officials have been in contact with the mayor’s office and the FBI.

“Our hearts are breaking for the victims and their families, and we’re certainly keeping them in our prayers,” said Gov. Brian Kemp. “We’ll let the investigation continue, but it was a tragic night in our state.”

The gunman was apprehended by authorities and taken into custody.

Robert Aaron Long, a white man, 21, was apprehended in South Georgia Tuesday night and has been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault.

“A motive is still not clear, but a crime against any community is a crime against us all,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “I have remained in close contact with the White House and APD as they work with federal, state and local partners to investigate the suspect who is responsible for this senseless violence in our city.”

Long told investigators he frequented the types of businesses targeted in the Tuesday shootings, calling them a “temptation he wanted to eliminate.”

The attack highlights the growing threats that the Asian & Pacific Islander community faces in the U.S.

The killings came amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.

We don’t yet know exactly what motivated the alleged killer, but we do know that hate crimes against Asian Americans have been on the rise since the start of the Covid pandemic in the US.Asian Americans have reported being targeted at least 500 times in the first two months of this year, according to the organization Stop AAPI Hate with a total of 3,795 complaints received over the past year. The majority of these — 68% — were verbal harassment, while 11% involved physical assaults.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

The Colombian City Where Body Parts Wash Up On The Shore So Often It’s Become Normal

Things That Matter

The Colombian City Where Body Parts Wash Up On The Shore So Often It’s Become Normal

Colombia has made incredible progress since the 1990’s when the country was a hotbed for international drug trafficking and guerrilla warfare. Today, modern bustling cities are home to shopping centers, museums, and hordes of international visitors.

However, despite the advancements, the country is still in a delicate peace deal with the main guerrilla oppossition – Las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) – and there are many other paramilitary groups that still operate across the country, including in the main port city of Buenavista.

The city of Buenavista is seeing an uptick in body parts washing up along its shores.

In mid-January, an arm washed up on the city’s shore. It was quickly assumed, by local media reports, that the arm belonged to one of three local fisherman who had most likely been rounded up, killed, and dismembered. The arm had a tattoo on it, connecting it to one of the missing men, Armando Valencia.

And it wasn’t the first time this has happened. According to residents, body parts washing up on beaches is a tragically familiar occurrence. “There were some reports of body parts washing up at La Bocana [a nearby tourist spot]. A head, a leg, an arm,” said María Miyela Riascos, a social leader from Buenaventura, in a statement to VICE News. “Also, they found a man and a woman dismembered in the rural area of Bajo Calima.”

Violence has been rampant in Buenaventura for decades. The city has some of the highest rates of forced displacement and homicide in the country. But seldom has it been confronted by the levels of brutality experienced in the past year.

Criminal groups have long terrorized the city but things seem to be out of control.

So many different criminal groups have terrorized the slums of Colombia’s main Pacific port that residents rarely bother to learn the name of the latest clan in control. They simply call the warring gangs los malos or the bad guys.

Three people have been killed or disappeared daily, and conflict between organized crime has displaced as many as 6,000 people. Videos on Twitter show people fleeing their homes and young men and women patrolling with assault weapons. #SOSbuenaventura has been trending.

Community leaders see darker interests behind the violence, saying the areas where most crimes occur are the same where plans have been laid for a waterfront project, an airport and seaport terminals. “I see the violence as a means of pressure to get us off this area so they can build their projects,” Armando Valencia told The Guardian.

Criminals use “chop houses” to dismember their victims.

Colombian navy special forces on patrol among stilted waterfront shacks in Buenaventura
Credit: Fernando Vergara / Getty Images

The criminals recruit children, extort businesses, force people from their homes and dismember live victims, scattering their remains in the bay or surrounding jungle. Dozens of wooden huts balanced precariously on stilts over the bay have been abandoned by terrorized citizens and taken over by the gangs for use as casas de pique, or chop houses, where they torture and murder their victims.

The chop houses are the most gruesome consequence of a deeply flawed attempt to dismantle rightwing militias, which originally emerged to combat leftwing guerrillas in collusion with state security forces and drug traffickers.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com