HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (KDVR) — It’s now been two years since Kendrick Castillo was killed and eight other students were hurt, during a shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch.
“Kendrick was my best friend. He was everything to me. He’s my hero.”
That’s how Kendrick’s father, John, described his 18-year-old son – who rushed the two shooters to save others – at a ceremony Friday afternoon.
“The first year was a blur,” John said. “And now slowly it’s getting better.”
It helps when Kendrick’s parents are surrounded by his friends, as they were on Friday.
In the two years since the shooting, the Castillo’s have grown close with Frank DeAngelis, who was the principal of Columbine High School when the deadly shooting happened there in 1999.
“Someone once told me right after Columbine – you can’t determine what happens to you, but you can determine how you respond,” DeAngelis said. “I think John and Maria – and what they’re doing now – is sharing their story. There are families that are grieving and if they can reach out and give that strength, they’re doing it for Kendrick.”
The Castillo’s also find strength in prayer, as devout Catholics, and in knowing people all across the world have gotten to know Kendrick Castillo. He was a Jeep enthusiast and loved robotics and technology. NASA even etched his name on the Perseverance rover on Mars.
“To hear that people are getting to know him, to recognize him, just reinforces what good does when it fights evil,” John Castillo said.