DENVER (CBS4)– A total of 30 robotics teams from across the region competed Saturday at Denver’s East High School in the first Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament. Kendrick, 18, was killed May 7 in the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting while trying to stop one of the gunmen.

Kendrick Castillo (credit: Charles Burroughs)

“I have a lot of memories of him smiling and making really cool jokes,” said STEM School Highlands Ranch Senior Katie Butler.

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament robotics

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament (credit: CBS)

“Moving on shouldn’t mean forgetting,” she added.

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament robotics

Katie Butler (credit: CBS)

Katie is the software lead for STEM IMPULSE, the robotics team that was so much a part of Kendrick Castillo’s life.

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament robotics

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament (credit: CBS)

“We don’t want to forget Kendrick and we don’t want to forget everything that he meant to us, but we do want to be able to move on and help continue the team that he loved so much,” she said.

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament robotics

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament (credit: CBS)

John Castillo stopped by the tournament named in honor of his late son.

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament robotics

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament (credit: CBS)

PHOTO GALLERY: Colorado Energy Day & Kendrick Castillo Memorial Invitational

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament robotics

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament (credit: CBS)

“The outpouring of love and support after the tragic events is monument and this is extra special,” he said, adding,” As people discover Kendrick, I can’t help but imagine that they wonder how he became the person he was, you know this community and family have a lot to do with that.”

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament robotics

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament (credit: CBS)

He refers to the FIRST Robotics (FRC) community as family and suggests that with the loss of his son, comes a charge for us all.

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament robotics

John Castillo (credit: CBS)

“Do not be a victim, Kendrick wasn’t a victim, I’m not victim. I want people to embrace life. Create relationships, friendships as you’re building robots and doing great things. If you’re not into robotics, create friends,” he said, challenging everyone to share the love and kindness that was as much a signature of Kendrick Castillo as was his smile.

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament robotics

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament (credit: CBS)

“Man, we’re just supported and we’re experiencing what love does and I don’t want that to stop and I hope that people remember that Kendrick is the catalyst to keep that going,” he said.

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament robotics

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament (credit: CBS)

Joel Hillan

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