HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – The parents of Kendrick Castillo have filed a claim against against STEM School Highlands Ranch and Douglas County School District, claiming school administrators are liable for their son’s death. Kendrick Castillo, 18, was shot and killed inside the school on May 7, just a week before graduation.

John and Maria Castillo visit their son’s grave. (credit: Louis Ramirez, CBS4)

Eight other students were injured in the attack. Castillo and two classmates tackled one of the two gunmen at the school. Castillo’s classmates say he was a hero, likely preventing other students from being shot.

Kendrick Castillo (credit: Charles Burroughs)

The claim states John and Maria Castillo’s damages exceed $500,000, and they want the maximum amount permitted by law. In the notice of claim, the Castillos allege school administrators failed to protect Kendrick and the other students by not acting on a threat before the shooting.

STEM School Highlands Ranch issued a statement that they disagree with the claims but could not comment further.

A police officer walks past the STEM School Highlands Ranch entrance on May 8, 2019. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

Dan Caplis, Attorney for John and Maria Castillo, released the following statement:

“Mr. and Mrs. Castillo are determined to do everything in their power to prevent Colorado students and teachers from being shot to death in their school. That includes using the legal process to reveal the full truth about what led up to the attack that took the life of their heroic son Kendrick.”

(credit: CBS)

If STEM School Highlands Ranch and the Douglas County School District decide not to pay the claim, the Castillo’s can file a lawsuit.

Under Colorado Law, parents can sue a school district when there are shootings or other violence. The legislation was named after Claire Davis, a student who died in the 2013 shooting at Arapahoe High School.

Claire Davis (credit: Davis Family)

The two suspects in the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting will both be tried as adults. On Thursday, one of the suspects pleaded not guilty. His attorney notified the court they may use a mental condition in his defense.

 

Dominic Garcia

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