Hundreds of Jeeps took part in a procession to the memorial service for Kendrick Castillo, the student killed while trying to stop an alleged gunman at the STEM School Highlands Ranch.
Eighteen-year-old Castillo loved his Jeep and off-roading so other Jeep enthusiasts answered the call to help show their appreciation for his heroism on the way to Castillo's memorial service on Wednesday.
The service was held at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch just a few hours after the two shooting suspects appeared in court as Castillo's parents watched.
Honoring Kendrick Castillo: Hundreds of Jeeps join the procession for the student who was killed while stopping a shooter at STEM School Highlands Ranch https://t.co/KGWTWB2NWD #STEMstrong #KendrickCastillo pic.twitter.com/JbvOEWbsfU
— Anica Padilla (@AnicaPadilla) May 15, 2019
Gov. Jared Polis declared Wednesday Kendrick Castillo Day in Colorado, writing on Twitter that his bravery wouldn't be forgotten. The governor also switched his profile photo to one of Castillo.
Robots were lined up outside Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch in recognition of Castillo's love of robotics as about 2,000 people entered the church to honor him.
A kayak was on the stage along with a photo of a Jeep and two sports jackets during the memorial.
Really special tribute by @DenverPolice bringing out the bomb squad robots to hold up signs for #KendrickCastillo’s memorial. Kendrick was huge into robotics and worked on his schools team, beautiful way to make something a bit more personal. @KKTV11News pic.twitter.com/uCgo2plh6U
— Spencer Wilson (@Spencer_WNews) May 15, 2019
Castillo's father said during the service it was no surprise to him and his wife that their only son did what he had to do that day.
Echoing other speakers, John Castillo told those gathered on Wednesday to be more like his son, and put love and compassion first to carry on his life's message.
Castillo said to help others, people need to sit down with those who are struggling and spend time with them.
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.
"We love our community," Castillo said. "We're a family of three and a little dog, but you know, I feel the love of thousands."
Speaker after speaker praised the young man, focusing on his character and the accomplishments of his short life. References to the shooting were few, including one by Dakota Mann, who was on the school robotics team with Castillo.
"He died for us. Now it's time for us to live for him," Mann said.
Video stream of the memorial service:
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