A celebration of life will be held at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch.
The 18-year-old hero killed in the Highlands Ranch STEM School shooting last week will be honored in a memorial service today, Wednesday, May 15.
Kendrick Castillo, a senior who was just three days from graduating when he was fatally shot in the shooting, has been hailed a hero for protecting his classmates by making the ultimate sacrifice. Castillo, along with students Brendan Bialy and Joshua Jones, are credited in helping to minimize the threat by charging at one of the suspects. Eight other students were wounded in the shooting while Castillo was the lone fatality.
The celebration of life for Castillo will take place at Cherry Hills Community Church at 1 p.m. The service is open to the public, with doors opening at approximately 12:15 p.m. A livestream will be available for those unable to attend, and you can watch it here.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office will lead a procession (the first-ever for a civilian) of 30 motorcylcle officers from Denver to the church before the service.
"We wanted to honor the Castillo family and honor Kendrick," said Chris Washburn, patrol administrative lieutenant for the sheriff's office. "He's a high school kid that didn't think about his own safety but thought about the safety of his classmates and took some action. It's horrific that that cost him his life, but he's truly a hero in our eyes."
Dozens of jeeps, if not hundreds, will be joining the procession as that was Castillo's favorite vehicle.
A lover of science, robotics, and the great outdoors, Castillo had plans to study mechanical or electricial engineering at Arapahoe Community College in the fall. He was also a member of the FIRST Robotics Competition Team 4418.
A fund has been set up by FIRST in honor of Castillo's family and robotics team, with more than $50,000 being raised so far. All fundraising proceeds will be distributed to Team 4418 and "directed toward the immediate and long-term needs stemming from this tragedy related to grieving, recovery, and memorializing Kendrick," according to the fundraiser website. You can donate to the fund here.
Family and friends of Castillo fondly remember his sense of humor, infectious smile, and the fact that he was excited to help people.
We at OCN offer our deepest condolences to Kendrick Castillo's family and friends, as well as those affected by this tragedy. We are thankful for his sacrifice, as well as for the bravery and quick actions of Brendan Bialy and Josuha Jones, along with all of the first responders to the scene.