The parents of a boy who died disarming a gunman in the Colorado school shooting speak out about their 'extraordinary' son

CBS DenverJohn and Maria Castillo.
  • Kendrick Castillo, 18, was killed in the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting in Colorado on Tuesday.
  • He was hailed a hero after classmates said he was shot as he tried to disarm one of the suspected gunmen.
  • His parents, John and Maria Castillo, told CBS Denver that their son was “extraordinary,” and close friend Brendan Bialy said Kendrick “went out as a hero.”
  • The teen was just days away from graduation when he was shot.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

The parents of the boy who was killed in the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting in Colorado on Tuesday have spoken out about their son for the first time since his death.

Kendrick Castillo, 18, was hailed a hero after the shooting, when students said that he was shot trying to tackle one of the suspected gunmen.

John and Maria Castillo spoke about their son to CBS Denver on Wednesday.

“I’d like the world to know that this wasn’t your average kid,” John Castillo said. “He was extraordinary.”

Kendrick was just days away from his high school graduation when he was shot.

“It’s like shutting the door you know? It’s like, I’m not going to get something back ever. It’s never going to be the same, and I wonder how we’re going to weather, but I’m not surprised about what he did,” John Castillo told CBS.

Students said Kendrick leapt out of his desk in an attempt to stop the gunman, and after a struggle, he was shot.

His close friend, Brendan Bialy, and two other students followed after him and were able to disarm the suspect.

Read more:
Multiple students hurled themselves at the gunman to stop a shooting at their high school in Colorado. One died protecting his classmates.

“Kendrick went out as a hero,” Bialy said at a press conference,according to the Associated Press. “He was a foot away from the shooter and instead of running the opposite direction, he ran toward it.”

Kendrick’s parents said they feared the worst when they couldn’t get ahold of their son after hearing about the shooting.

“I was texting and I tried to FaceTime him, and I was getting nothing and my anxiety and my lump in my chest was growing. I just couldn’t believe it, I couldn’t believe that this was happening to my son,” John Castillo told CBS.

They learned at the hospital that Kendrick had died fighting the gunman.

Eight other students were injured in the shooting.

Authorities identified the two suspected gunmen as 18-year-old Devon Erickson and 16-year-old Maya McKinney, but the teen’s attorney said he uses male pronouns and identifies as Alec.

Authorities said at a press conference that the suspects brought guns into STEM School Highlands Ranch through an entrance without metal detectors and opened fire in two classrooms.

Watch the full CBS Denver interview below:

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.