Two students suspected of shooting nine classmates, one fatally, in their Colorado charter school appeared in court Wednesday to face dozens of criminal charges that included murder and attempted murder, the AP reports. The parents of the teen who was killed in the attack looked on before attending to their son’s memorial service. Senior Kendrick Castillo was just days from graduating when he was slain while trying to stop one of the gunmen during the May 7 attack at the STEM School Highlands Ranch, not far from the scene of the 1999 Columbine massacre. Investigators say the accused assailants, 18-year-old Devon Erickson and 16-year-old Alec McKinney, opened fire with handguns. They were arrested at the school.
While court documents are sealed, the charges against the teenagers listed in electronic court records also included theft and arson. Prosecutors said both will be tried as adults. Castillo’s parents attended the hearing and apparently plan to be there for every hearing that follows. Later Wednesday, nearly 2,000 people turned out for a memorial service to honor their son, per the AP. “We love our community,” said the father, John Castillo. “We’re a family of three and a little dog, but you know, I feel the love of thousands.” One speaker after another praised the young man, focusing on his character and the accomplishments of his short life. “He died for us,” said a schoolmate. “Now it’s time for us to live for him.”
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