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Kendrick Castillo's family want to begin advocating for change in their community

Posted: 9:31 PM, Jul 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-17 02:56:37-04
kendrick castillo.jpg

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. -- John Castillo says the day he lost his son Kendrick in the STEM School shooting was devastating.

“When he got up out of that chair and faced evil and a took a bullet for his friends, that wasn’t the end of his life. They silenced him but they brought back my voice,” Castillo told Denver7 Tuesday.

Now, he says he’s ready to become an advocate for change. His son is gone but Castillo says he still helps him carry on.

“I find strength from my son and my faith. Even though we’re still going through traumatic events and we grieve and we have onset of emotions that come in, when I’m on the upswing and I’m feeling good, I need to advocate for immediate change," he said.

Castillo says his advocacy begins by going out into the community so people never forget the day a community was rocked and young lives were taken.

“And I want people to remember the victims Riley Howell, Kendrick Castillo and all the other who lost their lives before and the ones who are impacted now," he said.

On Tuesday, Castillo attended a meeting at the Board of Douglas County commissioners who appropriated $13 million just three weeks after the shooting for school security and mental health for students in the county.

Commissioners say the money is planned to be split with $10 million for school safety and student mental health, $3 million to fund school resource officers (SROs) and $300,000 for a community response team serving youth.