Celebration of life service held for Kendrick Castillo


A celebration of life service for Kendrick Castillo, the student killed in the STEM shooting last week, was held Wednesday at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch.

Castillo is one of three students credited with subduing at least one of the shooters.

Robots were lined up outside the church as people entered, in recognition of 18-year-old Castillo’s love of robotics.

Hundreds of Jeeps took part in the procession to what was intended to be a celebration of Castillo’s life. Castillo loved his Jeep and off-roading and was a member of his school’s robotics club with a passion for tinkering.

 A kayak was on the stage along with a photo of a Jeep and two sports jackets.

John Castillo, the victim’s father, said it was no surprise to him and his wife that their only son did what he had to do that day.

Echoing other speakers, Castillo told those gathered at a memorial service to be more like his son and put love and compassion first to carry on his life’s message.

“I have learned I need to be more like Kendrick, and see the joy in all of life’s little moments,” said Lauren Harper, Kendrick’s teacher.

Castillo said to help others, people need to sit down with those who are struggling and spend time with them.

“Our world needs help! When you strip down the goodness of people there is Kendrick underneath. We are all filled up with the good stuff, what you choose to do with it is really up to you,” Castillo said.  “When somebody is struggling and moving into darkness you need to sit down with them and figure it out.” 

Following his own advice, Castillo offered to help any of the approximately 2,000 people gathered in the church with anything they need to recover from the shooting.  

He died for us now it’s time for us to live for him,” said Dakota Mann friend of Kendrick.

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