Strangers across the nation take a moment to honor Kendrick Castillo

Posted at 11:04 AM, May 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-12 13:06:01-04

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. – In an effort to honor the life of a fallen teenager, strangers gathered in parks throughout the state and nation Saturday for a moment of silence. Strangers stood silent and later prayed for Kendrick Castillo, the teenager gunned down by a classmate at STEM School Highlands Ranch.

Castillo was recognized by many peers as the first student to lunge at one of the gunmen, credited with saving many lives.

Those who never knew Castillo gathered at a park near the school where he was killed, praying under flags flying at half staff in his honor.

“Everybody that doesn’t know each other gets together for a moment, to just celebrate what this gentleman did for other students at his school,” said Deanna Deese, an attendee at the vigil.

Deese spoke to the small group and even said a prayer for the Castillo family.

“I know it wasn’t a long time that we were (at the vigil). At least it was a moment for us to recognize how brave Kendrick was,” Deese said.

Organizers hoped the Colorado community, and nation, would gather at local parks at 6 p.m. By hosting a moment of silence in unity, they hoped Castillo’s life would be honored through a unified measure.

“It’s made the community come together more, and not feel so frustrated or hopeless. When we focus on Kendrick and what he did, we hope that his family recognizes that everybody here and nationwide will remember this 18-year-old forever,” Deese said.

Kendrick’s family said donation sites set up for their family have not been authorized by them. They instead have set up an account with Wells Fargo Bank. The public can go to any branch location and ask to donate to the Kendrick Castillo Memorial Fund. Cash, check or transfers are accepted.

HOW TO HELP: Highlands Ranch School Shooting

Dillon Thomas – CBS4