HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4)Kendrick Castillo has been described as the heart and soul of STEM School Highland Ranch’s robotics team. Kendrick was shot and killed in Tuesday’s shooting in which many credit him with being a hero and saving other students from being shot.

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Dakotah Mann is a systems engineer at Lockheed Martin and a design and fabrication mentor for Team Impulse where he worked closely with Kendrick.

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“If it went on the robot, he touched it, he worked on it some way either helped create it, helped design it, helped figure out how it would work,” he said.

Dakotah Mann (credit: CBS)

Kendrick was more than just a student he mentored, he considered him a friend.

“He was just a great spirit to be around. He brought a lot of joy to the team, a lot of camaraderie.”

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Dakotah says that Kendrick also brought a talent for welding.

CBS4’s Joel Hillan interviews Dakotah Mann (credit: CBS)

“He was the one who was the best at it. He would train other students on how to use it, but at the end of the day if we needed something done, we went to him.”

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Dakotah calls the outpouring of support from the robotics community extensive. FIRST, an international non-profit that supports STEM students, has launched a fundraising campaign benefiting the Castillo family and Team Impulse.

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“This money will help us make sure that team Impulse sticks around for a long time and have everything they need to succeed. [A legacy] he would have wanted.”

In the robotics community, they say people think the program is about helping build robots, but Dakotah says it is really about building kids.

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“I’ve had the chance to help create a lot of things, but Kendrick was the best thing I ever helped create; by far.”

HOW TO HELP: Highlands Ranch School Shooting

Joel Hillan

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