Kendrick Castillo, student killed in Colorado high school shooting, was just 3 days from graduating

An 18-year-old student who died in Tuesday's mass shooting at a Colorado charter school was just three days away from his graduation.

Kendrick Castillo, a senior at STEM School Highlands Ranch in suburban Denver, attempted to disarm one of the two suspects who entered his British Literature classroom armed with handguns around 2 p.m., according to fellow student Nui Giasolli. He was shot and killed in the process. 

"The next thing I know, [the shooter] is pulling a gun and he’s telling nobody to move, and that’s when Kendrick lunged at him," she told TODAY. "And he shot Kendrick, giving all of us enough time to get underneath our desks, to get ourselves safe and to run across the room to escape."

Castillo, a decorated, four-year member of the school's robotics team, was the sole fatality of the shooting, which left eight others injured. The victim's father, John Castillo, spoke out on his son's tragic death on Wednesday.

"He was the best kid in the world," the bereaved father said through tears. "It doesn’t surprise me. He cared enough about people that he would do something like that, even though it’s against my better judgment."

"I wish he had gone and hid, but that’s not his character," he added. "His character is about protecting people, helping people."

Photos from the scene: 

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Shooting at Denver-area STEM school
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Shooting at Denver-area STEM school
Joshua Jones, front, who was wounded while trying to stop a gunman involved in the attack on the STEM School Highlands Ranch last week, speaks during a news conference as his mother, Lorie, looks on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, in Littleton, Colo. Jones, Kendrick Castillo and Brendan Bialy tackled the teen who opened fire at the school south of Denver on May 7. Castillo was fatally shot. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Lorie Jones, back, makes a point while her son Joshua, who was wounded while trying to stop a gunman involved in the attack on the STEM School Highlands Ranch last week, looks on during a news conference Tuesday, May 14, 2019, in Littleton, Colo. Jones, Kendrick Castillo and Brendan Bialy tackled the teen who opened fire at the school south of Denver on May 7. Castillo was fatally shot. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Jones, back, considers a question as his son, Joshua, who was wounded while trying to stop a gunman involved in the attack on the STEM School Highlands Ranch last week, looks on during a news conference Tuesday, May 14, 2019, in Littleton, Colo. Jones, Kendrick Castillo and Brendan Bialy tackled the teen who opened fire at the school south of Denver on May 7. Castillo was fatally shot. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Brendan Bialy jokes with reporters as he recounts his role in stopping the attack at the STEM School Highlands Ranch Wednesday, May 8, 2019, in Englewood, Colo. Eighteen-year-old Bialy said he, Kendrick Castillo and a third student tried to stop the gunman on Tuesday by charging at him at the STEM School Highlands Ranch. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Brendan Bialy hands back a microphone after he spoke about his role in stopping the attack at the STEM School Highlands Ranch during a news conference Wednesday, May 8, 2019, in Englewood, Colo. Bialy is a member of the Marines' Delayed Entry program and the Marines say Bialy put his own safety at risk and showed "courage and commitment" in helping tackle a gunman on Tuesday in the STEM School Highlands Ranch in the south Denver suburbs. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Brendan Bialy, third from left, joins mother Dena Martin, right, father Brad Bialy, far left, and attorney Mark Bryant to speak about his role in stopping the attack at the STEM School Highlands Ranch during a news conference Wednesday, May 8, 2019, in Englewood, Colo. Eighteen-year-old Bialy said he, Kendrick Castillo and a third student tried to stop the gunman by charging at him during Tuesday's attack at the STEM School Highlands Ranch. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Devon Erickson, an accused STEM School shooter, appears at the Douglas County Courthouse in Castle Rock, Colo., Wednesday, May 8, 2019. The attackers were identified by law enforcement officials as 18-year-old Erickson and a younger student who is a juvenile and was not named. They allegedly walked into the STEM School Highlands Ranch through an entrance without metal detectors and opened fire in two classrooms. (Joe Amon/The Denver Post via AP, Pool)
Devon Erickson, an accused STEM school shooter, signs paperwork during his advisement at the Douglas County Courthouse in Castle Rock, Colo., Wednesday, May 8, 2019. The attackers were identified by law enforcement officials as 18-year-old Erickson and a younger student who is a juvenile and was not named. They allegedly walked into the STEM School Highlands Ranch through an entrance without metal detectors and opened fire in two classrooms. (Joe Amon/The Denver Post via AP, Pool)
Devon Erickson, an accused STEM school shooter, answers the judge during his advisement at the Douglas County Courthouse in Castle Rock, Colo., Wednesday, May 8, 2019. The attackers were identified by law enforcement officials as 18-year-old Erickson and a younger student who is a juvenile and was not named. They allegedly walked into the STEM School Highlands Ranch through an entrance without metal detectors and opened fire in two classrooms. (Joe Amon/The Denver Post via AP, Pool)
A photograph of student Kendrick Castillo stands amid a display of tributes outside the STEM School Highlands Ranch a week after the attack on the school that left Castillo dead and others injured, Tuesday, May 14, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
A display grows outside the STEM School Highlands Ranch a week after the attack on the school that left one student dead and others injured, Tuesday, May 14, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. Student Kendrick Castillo pictured in the display was was fatally wounded in the May 7 shooting. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Young women console each other during a community vigil to honor the victims and survivors of yesterday's fatal shooting at the STEM School Highlands Ranch, Wednesday, May 8, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Display grows outside the STEM School Highlands Ranch a week after the attack on the school that left one student dead and others injured Tuesday, May 14, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Attendees illuminate their mobile telephones during a community vigil to honor the victims and survivors of yesterday's fatal shooting at the STEM School Highlands Ranch, late Wednesday, May 8, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
RETRANSMIT WITH ALTERNATE CROP Officials guide students off a bus and into a recreation center where they were reunited with their parents after a shooting at a suburban Denver middle school Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Parents gather in a circle to pray at a recreation center where students were reunited with their parents after a shooting at a suburban Denver middle school Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
A parent leaves the recreation center where students were reunited with their parents after a shooting at a suburban Denver middle school Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock, right, confers with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis during a news conference on Tuesday's shooting at a charter school, Wednesday, May 8, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
A Douglas County, Colo., Sheriff's Department deputy walks the perimeter of the parking lot outside the STEM School Highlands Ranch after a shooting Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
A Douglas County, Colo., Sheriff's Department vehicle blocks the entrance to the west parking lot of the STEM School Highlands Ranch after a shooting Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
School buses arrive at a recreation center set up for students to get reunited with their parents after a shooting at a suburban Denver middle school Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
A parent leaves with a child from the recreation center where students were reunited with their parents after a shooting at a suburban Denver middle school Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Fire and police gather at the recreation center where students were reunited with their parents after a shooting at a suburban Denver middle school Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Parents leave a recreation center with their child where students were reunited with their parents after a shooting at a suburban Denver middle school Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Parents hug as they wait for the arrival of their children at the recreation center where the students were reunited with their parents Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Students step off a bus and head into a recreation center where they were reunited with their parents after a shooting at a suburban Denver middle school Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Students are led from a bus into a recreation center where they were reunited with their parents after a shooting at a suburban Denver middle school Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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Another student later identified as Brendan Bialy, a senior who is enrolled in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program, was also heralded for his brave intervention during the attack, NBC News reports.

"Brendan's courage and commitment to swiftly ending this tragic incident at the risk of his own safety is admirable and inspiring," the 8th District Marines said.

Two suspects, an adult male identified as 18-year-old Devon Erickson and a juvenile female whose identity has not been released, are in police custody, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said. The investigation is ongoing, and a possible motive has not yet been released. 

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