DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Kendrick Castillo’s parents spoke ahead of his confessed killer’s sentencing Friday afternoon.
Castillo was killed in the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting in May 2019. Eight others were wounded.
In February, 17-year-old Alec McKinney pleaded guilty to 17 charges related to the shooting. Devon Erickson, 19, is accused of carrying out the shooting alongside McKinney.
Before McKinney’s sentencing, the court heard victim impact statements from a number of people, including Castillo’s parents.
John Castillo, Kendrick’s father, recalled the last time he saw his son: the morning of May 7, 2019.
“(I) saw Kendrick drive away in his Jeep — took a video of him as he turned away. Little did I know, that would be the last time I would see him alive,” John said.
McKinney cried during the testimony. John accused him of having “crocodile tears” and being protected by “a broken system.”
“You’ve taken away my purpose. People don’t know what it’s like,” John said.
The father said he has spoken to President Donald Trump, Gov. Jared Polis, sheriffs and others.
“People I shouldn’t have to meet,” John said of the group. “They’re all compassionate. Everybody wants to do something to take away my pain.”
John said he was once a prideful man who was used to working with his hands.
“I could fix anything. But I can’t bring my son back. It’s because of you,” he said.
John described McKinney as “pure evil” and described himself and his wife as survivors, not victims.
“You created something in me by killing my son,” John told McKinney.
John later called McKinney a coward.
“I’ll never forgive you. I hate you. I love my Christ Jesus and I hope he forgives me.”
Maria Castillo, Kendrick’s mother, also spoke at on Friday. While John has been outspoken following his son’s killing, Maria has usually opted to not speak with the media about the shooting.
On Friday, she described McKinney as a “domestic terrorist” and an “evil killer.”
“Kendrick was my only child, my life, everything I had,” Maria said. “I will never see him. I will never have grandkids because of this disgusting, evil killer.”
She said she still wakes up early in the morning waiting for Kendrick — her only child — to come home.
“It’s not a bad dream; it’s real,” Maria said. “My blood boils every time that I think I will never know what Kendrick’s last words were because I wasn’t there to protect him.”
The mother said that as long as she is alive, she will do everything in her power to ensure McKinney pays for his actions.
“I will never forgive you,” Maria said, echoing her husband’s statement. “My only wish is to see you dead, burning in hell.”