Kendrick Castillo, 18, was due to graduate from high school this month

By Chris Harris
May 08, 2019 11:12 AM
Maria Castillo/Instagram

The 18-year-old student who was killed Tuesday afternoon during a mass shooting inside a Colorado STEM school died trying to stop one of the two suspected shooters, according to news reports.

Douglas County Coroner Jill Roman on Wednesday identified Kendrick Castillo as the sole fatality from Tuesday’s mass shooting by two students, which also injured 8 others.

The senior at the STEM School Highlands Ranch was days away from finishing his high school career, with graduation just on the horizon.

According to student Nui Giasolli, who spoke to several media outlets, Castillo was killed lunging towards one of the shooters in an effort to stop Tuesday’s violence.

At this moment, a motive for the shooting has not been established.

Police have detained the two suspected shooters, identifying only one of them by name: 18-year-old Devon Erickson. The second alleged shooter is a juvenile female suspect.

Giasolli told NBC News that Erickson entered her classroom during ninth period on Tuesday.

“He walked to the other side of the classroom where we also had another door,” Giasolli told the Today show. “And he opened the door as if he was going to go back to his seat and then he walked back to the door and he closed it. The next thing I know he’s pulling a gun and he’s telling nobody to move.”

Kendrick Castillo pictured with NHRA drag racer John Harold Force
Maria Castillo/Instagram

Castillo, she said, didn’t hesitate.

“That’s when Kendrick lunged at him and he shot Kendrick, giving all of us enough time to get underneath our desks, to get ourselves safe and to run out … across the room to escape,” Giasolli said, fighting back tears.

Other students confirmed Giasolli’s account to CBS News.

Castillo, a member of the school’s award-winning robotics team, wasn’t the only student who jumped into action. Unconfirmed reports indicate at least three students took steps to stop the suspects.

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said at a press conference Wednesday morning that more stories of heroism would likely emerge in the wake of Tuesday’s violence.

“We are going to hear about heroic things that took place,” Spurlock said, confirming at least one student was shot as he “encountered” one of the suspects.

Spurlock did not discuss the alleged encounter further.

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It was unclear Wednesday if Erickson had retained an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

He is due in court later today for an advisement hearing.