The student who died in the shooting at a Colorado charter school on Tuesday was an 18-year-old senior who was due to finish school in just three days, authorities said.
Kendrick Castillo was the sole student to die after the shooting at STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock told reporters Wednesday. Eight others were injured.
A classmate who witnessed the attack told NBC's Today show that Castillo "lunged" at one of the shooters to save others.
Nui Giasolli described the shooting that happened inside her British literature class — and how Castillo lost his life protecting his fellow students.
"The next thing I know is [the shooter] is pulling a gun and he’s telling nobody to move, and that’s when Kendrick lunged at him," Giasolli said on 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."
On Twitter, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis shared a local news story citing Giasolli's comments to Today. "Colorado will always remember the heroism of Kendrick Castillo," he wrote.
At the Wednesday press conference, Sheriff Spurlock didn't name the students who reportedly tackled the shooters, but said "we are going to hear about very heroic things that have taken place at the school."
"I suspect as the detectives get further interviews from them, we’re going to find that there were much more heroic things," Spurlock said.
Castillo was an award-winning, four-year member of the school's robotics team.
He had already held multiple technology internships, according to his LinkedIn page.
On social media, people mourned the loss of Castillo and called him a hero.
In the Today interview, Giasolli also thanked "Brendan Bialy, Jackson Gregory, and Lucas Albertoni [for being] some of the kids that were brave enough to bring [the shooter] down so that all of us could escape and all of us could be reunited with our families."
"They were very heroic," she said. "I can’t thank them enough."
Bialy, whose father told NBC he's planning to become a Marine, reportedly helped to tackle one of the shooters. He was not shot but is "still in shock and primarily concerned with the victims and their families," according to a statement from the family's attorney that was shared with 9News.
“He was very defiant at these senseless and horrendous actions," the attorney, Mark Bryant, said. "This young man, like many of our young youth, are compelled by their families, communities, and own internal convictions and strength to act immediately and selflessly. His message is strength to all!”