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'We need to be more like him': Kendrick Castillo remembered as selfless, tenacious at celebration of life service

Friends, family and members of the STEM School Highlands Ranch community gathered to honor fallen student Kendrick Castillo at a celebration of life service on Wednesday.

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — Kendrick Castillo is remembered by those who knew him best as a bright young man of deep faith who had an infectious smile, warm heart and was happiest when serving others.

A celebration of life was held Wednesday honoring the fallen STEM School Highlands Ranch student hailed as a hero for lunging at a gunman that opened fire at the school last week.

Friends, family and members of the community gathered at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch to remember the life of Castillo. He was set to graduate from the school later this month.

Credit: KUSA

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According to friends, the 18-year-old loved technology and science, and he could figure out anything computer-related. His father, John Castillo, said there’s one word that comes to mind when remembering his son and his legacy.

“Love, the love for anybody that he met. I mean everybody. He was compassionate,” John Castillo said. “We all have the ability to be a little like Kendrick.”  

WATCH the full celebration of life service below.

During the memorial service, friends and former teachers described Castillo as an inspiration to everyone lucky enough to know him. His former principal Charlene Molis said that Castillo is proof that one person can make a difference.

“He respected everyone and always did his best,” Molis said.

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The celebration of life service followed a procession involving hundreds of Jeeps – a vehicle Castillo loved – that started near University and Colorado boulevards and arrived at the church. 

WATCH BELOW: Members of Jeep community hold procession for Kendrick Castillo

Eight other students were injured in the May 7 shooting. They have all since been released from the hospital.

“To carry on his life’s message, we need to be more like him. That’s what this world needs for change," John Castillo said. 

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