HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — One of the three students who charged the suspect in Tuesday’s school shooting is a Latter-day Saint and a possible future missionary.
Joshua Jones and two classmates saved lives when they tackled one of two people behind the Colorado mass shooting that killed a young hero and wounded eight others.
But Jones, 18, doesn’t want to be called a hero, said Josh Lewis, a spokesman for his family.
His friend, Kendrick Castillo, was fatally shot Tuesday as they gave their classmates at STEM School Highlands Ranch time to take cover or run. Jones is filled with guilt, regret and sadness for Kendrick’s family, Lewis said.
Jones always thought he wanted to become an emergency medical technician, Lewis said, but now he’s certain.
He would like to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before his EMT training.
Jones pinned the shooter with his body until police arrived, according to Lewis. He suffered gunshot wounds to his left calf and hip.
“He considers himself really blessed and fortunate,” Lewis said.
When the gunman pulled out a weapon in British literature class on Tuesday, Lewis said Jones, Kendrick and another student, Brendan Bialy, reacted almost immediately, Lewis says. They acted together.
Kendrick lunged at the shooter.
“I know that because of what he did, others are alive,” Kendrick’s father, John Castillo, said. “I love him. And he is a hero and he will always be.”
Bialy, who hopes to become a U.S. Marine, said he moved the weapon away from the shooter. Jones pinned the suspect down. Bialy tried to get Kendrick to talk, but he wasn’t moving.
Jones is cooperating with the Douglas County Sheriff’s investigation into the shooting — the latest in a series of mass shootings in the wider community, including Columbine High School and the Aurora movie theater.
The two suspects — 18-year-old student Devon Erickson and 16-year-old Alec McKinney — will appear in court next week to hear the charges against them. They are both students at the school and face murder and attempted murder charges, according to George Brauchler, the local district attorney.
Jones is at home recovering, his family insisting that he use his crutches. But Lewis said the senior vows to ditch them for his May 20 graduation.