Marine Recruit Who Charged STEM Shooter Remembers His Friend

Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

The aspiring Marine who charged the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooter remembered his friend in a Wednesday interview, saying, “Kendrick Castillo died a legend.”

Brendan Bialy, 18, said that when he saw the gun, his gut took over. “I don’t like the idea of running and hiding,” he explained. Ultimately, it was Bialy who was able to disarm one of the shooters. He declined to tell reporters which shooter it was, although he said that he knew.

But Castillo, Bialy’s close friend, acted first.

“Kendrick Castillo died a legend. He died a trooper. He got his ticket to Valhalla, and I know he will be with me for the rest of my life,” Bialy said as he set the scene. “The gunman was there, then he was against the wall, and he didn’t know what the hell hit him.”

Despite feeling “absolute fear” initially, Bialy said he quickly followed Castillo’s lead. He was able to get the gun away from the shooter, but by the time he turned back to help Castillo, his friend was unresponsive.

In the days since the shooting, Bialy said that he has heard the word “hero” thrown around, but he has shrugged it off, saying, “I need to let them know that Kendrick Castillo and the other student were in the thick of it on rolling on the ground where I was too.”

And he also shrugged off the idea of being a victim. “Why in the world would I let this coward get what he wants?” he asked. “I’m not a victim. I refuse to be a victim. Kendrick refused to be a victim.” (RELATED: Colorado Students Grow Angry At Vigil’s Politicization, Some Walk Out)

Bialy, who is enrolled in the Marine Corps’ Delayed Entry Program, is set to leave for training this summer. “The reason I joined is to help people. And I’m going to do that,” he said.

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