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Thousands honor teen who died trying to stop Colorado school shooting

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By Associated Press

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — Nearly 2,000 people turned out Wednesday for a memorial service to honor the Colorado teenager who was killed while charging one of the two gunmen who opened fire inside a high school and shot nine people just days before graduation.

A line of Jeeps and trucks stretched along a Highlands Ranch roadway ahead of the service for Kendrick Castillo, 18, who was a Jeep and off-road vehicle enthusiast. His casket was draped with yellow and blue flowers that represented the colors of the STEM School Highlands Ranch, and the stage of the church where the service was held was adorned with symbols of his passion for science, the outdoors and his faith.

Kendrick Castillo was fatally shot at a STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.John Castillo / via Facebook

His father, John Castillo, said it was no surprise to him and his wife, Maria, that their son acted as he did on May 7, when he and two classmates disarmed one of the suspects. He urged those in attendance to be more like his son and put love and compassion for others first.

“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.

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