Over the past 11 days, the United States has experienced three mass shootings that seem to be more and more commonplace. And although Politico previously reported that these incidents are getting deadlier — not more frequent — the heroes that sacrificed their lives to stop the recent string of shootings highlights just how an ordinary citizen can make a life-changing impact in these nightmarish situations.
Kendrick Castillo Refused To Be A Victim
When the Colorado shooter burst into the classroom as 18-year-old Kendrick was watching The Princess Bride in his British literature class, he acted on instinct and lunged at him. Per CNN, his choice was what lead to his death, but it also gave his STEM School Highlands Ranch classmates — and friends — enough time to hide.
“I know that because of what he did, others are alive, and I thank God for that. I love him. And he is a hero and he always will be,” said his father, John Castillo.
“He just loved people that much.”
John and his wife Maria weren’t surprised when they heard about their son’s actions and said they raised him “to be good.”
Kendrick Castillo, 18, was killed after lunging at one of the gunmen yesterday during the school shooting in Colorado.— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) May 8, 2019
Our children shouldn’t have to stand up to gunmen because too many of our lawmakers are too afraid to stand up to gun lobbyists.
Text ACT to 644-33. pic.twitter.com/4BVDNj5GhB
Riley Howell Never Played It Safe
Riley Howell charged the shooter that opened fire on a classroom at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte last week, taking at least three bullets in the process. The final one was fired at point blank range into his head, but The New York Times reports that he managed to tackle the gunman in the process — so forcefully that the suspect complained to first responders following his arrest.
And although his mother Natalie Henry-Howell is angry that her son is dead, the 21-year-old’s bravery is being heralded as what prevented the shooter from continuing his massacre, and she says she is glad he died helping others.
“The chief said no one was shot after Riley body-slammed him.”
Lori Gilbert-Kaye Lived Her Life With Kindness
To those who knew her, Lori Gilbert-Kaye was a kind, generous person of deep faith. And when a gunman opened fire at Chabad of Poway, a San Diego-area synagogue, on Saturday, CNN reports that the 60-year-old threw herself between him and her rabbi, Yisroel Goldstein.
“Her relationships are one of the things that made her most proud,” her daughter Hannah Kaye said.
“My mother raised me to become like her, to woman who embraced all people, to give to all people, to love all people.”
Lori was killed on the last day of Passover, which Hannah says was her favorite holiday.
Audrey Jacobs, one of Lori’s friends, said that protecting the rabbi was her “final good deed.”