WASHINGTON — An 18-year-old Catholic credited with saving the lives of his schoolmates when he lunged at a shooter at Denver’s STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado May 7 wanted to become part of the Knights of Columbus, and a local branch of the Catholic organization is said to be helping pay the costs of his funeral.
Knights of Columbus Council 4844 of Southwest Denver has set up a fund to help the family of Kendrick Castillo with the boy’s funeral and will be helping during services, private and public, to honor his life.
Local news organization Fox 31 of Denver said the high school senior, killed just days before his graduation from the school where the shooting took place, had taken part in 2,600 hours of service with the Knights, along with his father, John, who is a member of the Catholic service organization for men. Castillo was the only casualty in the shooting although eight other students were injured. Two suspects, also students of the school, have been arrested in the incident.
Council 4844’s Facebook page posted several photos of Castillo as well as the services the Knights plan to attend as well as the help they offered to John and Maria Castillo, the boy’s parents. The only event open to the public and the media is listed for May 15. The organization posted a photo of the boy and his father together wearing an apron with the organization’s logo. One of the organization’s members told a local station that the boy often took part in events with his father.
“He cared about his faith and his family and friends more than himself or anything,” friend Sara Stacks, 17, told The New York Times for a story published May 8.
On May 9, John J. Doherty, state deputy for the Colorado Knights of Columbus, wrote on the organization’s website that Castillo “desired to be a Knight, his Dad is a Knight; let’s treat him and his family like the Knight he was in his heart, let us be there for him and his family!”
Simply put, he wrote, Castillo was “a young Catholic boy, with the heart of Christ,” and said that he was “the very essence of what it is to be a Knight of Columbus, a young man of Charity, Unity, Fraternity.”
“This young man was undoubtedly a Knight in his heart,” Doherty wrote. “I saw the pictures of he and his father in aprons at a Knights event and I was struck by the big smile on his face, he was happy there. This young man glorified God through his selfless action in sacrificing his life so his friends might live.”
Copyright ©2019 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.