Follow Up


Nearly $70,000 donated to construct memorial to 2019 STEM School shooting hero

Kendrick Castillo is remembered as a hero for charging the gunman inside the school, giving his classmates time to hide and run.
kendrick castillo.jpg
Posted at 8:17 PM, Mar 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-07 22:17:39-05

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — Douglas County has raised nearly $70,000 to underwrite construction for a memorial to Kendrick Castillo, the student killed in the STEM School shooting in 2019.

Castillo is remembered as a hero for charging the gunman inside the school, giving his classmates time to hide and run.

Kendrick Castillo’s father, John Castillo, said the memorial “would mean so much” to him and his wife, who visit their son’s grave every day. The memorial location at Civic Green Park in Highlands Ranch is meaningful, as it is just down the road from STEM School and adjacent to a library where Kendrick and his friends would often work on their school projects. Castillo hopes a permanent tribute to his son will keep his memory alive and inspire the community to push for important change.

“As time goes on, we tend to, as survivors, feel that our tragedy gets overpowered by the next event, the next school shooting. They continue to happen, which is unfortunate,” John Castillo said. “The lesson of Kendrick that day, standing up and staying ‘it stops with me, I’m going to make a difference,’ today is a valuable thing … When somebody’s eating Chick-fil-A and returning to school, or somebody’s had a rough day at work, [and] they look up and they realize that somebody paid the ultimate price — I think there’s value in that in our society.”

Douglas County leaders designate spot for memorial to 2019 STEM School shooting hero

The memorial creation is being led by the Kendrick Castillo Memorial Fund and Oversight Committee, which was formed following the shooting to identify ways to memorialize Kendrick for his heroism. The Board of Douglas County Commissioners also committed $13 million in public funds to improve school safety and mental health services in Douglas County schools.

During the announcement of the memorial, Douglas County and the Douglas County Community Foundation (DCCF) set a goal of $30,000 for the monument and memorial. All contributions that surpass the goal will go towards scholarships in Kendrick's honor.

You can learn more and donate here.

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