DENVER (CBS4) — A mural honoring Kendrick Castillo was unveiled in Denver’s Ball Park neighborhood on Sunday. Castillo was 18 years old when he charged an armed student at STEM School Highlands Ranch in May 2019. He was shot and killed. Because of his heroic actions, hundreds of other students were able to return home that night.

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Kendrick’s parents were there when the mural was unveiled — along with a fellow student — who says Kendrick saved her life.

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Lucy Sarkissian was an 8th grader at STEM School Highlands Ranch when Kendrick rushed one of the shooters.

“Kendrick’s sacrifice that day bought my classroom enough time to lockdown kept us safe,” Sarkissian said.

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The mural at 2100 Lawrence Street was done by artists Adam Clark and Ksenia Poteraj. They painted Kendrick with a big, friendly smile.

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“Kendrick was spreading love, and always with a smile,” John Castillo said. “What a lot of people don’t realize is, every photograph, we never had to hand pick one that didn’t smile.”

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Kendrick’s parents think he would have liked it.

“He would, you know, he would be humbled. He would dig it in a private way,” John Castillo said.

Because of his low key nature, Sarkissian later learned that Castillo also championed helping people in need. She’s started a cupcake company, Cupcakes 4 Change, to support some of his causes.

“John and Maria have a tangible way to see that people aren’t forgetting their son, that Kendrick is very much a real part of our lives,” she said.

The other people depicted in the mural were also victims of violence, and the artists hope it will bring awareness to reduce violence.

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Anica Padilla