No thought for their own safety: Hero students disarm gunman
HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colorado (AP):
The three students who disarmed a gunman in a Colorado school shooting leapt up from their desks without a word and with no thought for their own safety when they spotted the gun, recounted one of the young men.
They slammed the teenager, a classmate of theirs, against the wall and struggled with him when shots rang out. Kendrick Castillo, who led the charge, slumped to the ground.
His close friend, Brendan Bialy, wrestled the gun away and called out to Castillo. There was no response, Bialy told a roomful of reporters yesterday as he recalled what happened the previous day at STEM School Highlands Ranch.
“Kendrick went out as a hero,” Bialy said. “He was a foot away from the shooter, and instead of running the opposite direction, he ran toward it.”
Authorities said the actions of Castillo, Bialy and Joshua Jones minimised the bloodshed from Tuesday’s attack at the school south of Denver that wounded eight students, along with killing the 18-year-old Castillo.
The injured includes Jones, who was shot twice, according to a statement released by his family.
Bialy acknowledged that he was scared, but he said he wasn’t going to cower for shooters he repeatedly called cowards.
“They lost,” he said of the shooters. “They completely and utterly lost to good people.”
The attackers were identified by law-enforcement officials as 18-year-old Devon Erickson and a 16-year-old who prosecutors identified as Maya McKinney but whose attorney said uses male pronouns and the name Alec. The two allegedly walked into the STEM School Highlands Ranch through an entrance without metal detectors and opened fire in two classrooms.
Because the attack happened only miles from Columbine High School and just weeks after the shooting’s 20th anniversary, questions quickly arose about whether it was inspired by the 1999 massacre. But investigators offered no immediate motive.