Brendan Bialy called Kendrick Castillo, who died in the May 7 STEM School shooting, a “legend.”
At a press conference May 8, Bialy, who was one of three STEM School students who reportedly subdued one of the two suspects May 7, said approaching the alleged shooter to disarm him wasn't a decision at all. It was instinct.
“It was immediate, non-hesitation," Bialy, who was not injured, said. "There was no questioning, there was no hesitation, there was no looking around."
Castillo, Bialy said, felt an obligation to protect his fellow students. Bialy said Castillo rushed the shooter and was like a “bowling ball” coming toward him. Bialy, a close friend of Castillo's, also credited another friend with helping bring the suspect down. That friend did not want to be identified, Bialy said.
“The gunman was there, then he was against the wall and didn't know what the hell hit him,” Bialy said.
Bialy said he could not comment on many details of the shooting, which left eight students wounded. He did not know what type of gun it was. He said he knew the shooter personally. Bialy put compression on Castillo's chest, as did a teacher.
“What I saw yesterday was the absolute best of people,” Bialy said. “I got to see two heroes, two regular high school kids, two awesome people, jump into action without any hesitation. I was more than lucky to join them in doing that action. Somebody entered the building with incredibly malicious intent, using their cowardice, surprise and superior weapons, and they lost. They completely and utterly lost to good people.”
An aspiring Marine, Bialy said the incident will give him the confidence to act when called upon when he begins service. He is currently a poolee in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program, a program people enlist in before being shipped to basic training. A poolee is a person who has already signed up to become a Marine but has not left for the 13 weeks of recruit training.
The U.S. Marine Corps released a statement in response to Bialy's efforts.
“Brendan's courage and commitment to swiftly ending this tragic incident at the risk of his own safety is admirable and inspiring,” the statement reads. “His decisive actions resulted in the safety and protection of his teachers and fellow classmates.”
Bialy said Castillo was interested in cars and the two met in an internal combustion class at STEM. Bialy said the two of them would cruise around and just talk or watch funny videos together.
“Kendrick Castillo died a legend,” Bialy said. “He died a trooper. He got his ticket to Valhalla and he will be with me for the rest of my life. I love that kid.”
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