A funeral procession of over 600 Jeep enthusiasts followed school shooting victim Kendrick Castillo to his final resting place.
Last week, there was yet another school shooting in America. The latest institution to call prey to gun violence was STEM School Highlands Ranch, a charter school in Denver, Colorado. Two gunmen entered the school, drew handguns, and began shooting students.
One student bravely lunged at one of the gunmen. His name was Kendrick Castillo, and with the help of two other students--Joshua Jones and Brendan Bialy--they were able to wrest away the gun and save countless lives.
Castillo was shot in the chest and died before help could arrive. Bialy was also shot twice and is recovering in hospital.
News of the tragedy spread quickly in certain automotive circles once it became known that Kendrick was an avid Jeep fan. His personal ride was a Jeep Cherokee XJ in green, one he purchased himself after saving for years and modified with “Jeep Wrangler Rubicon JK wheels, a ~4.5-inch lift kit, some LED headlights, and the spare tire mounted to an aftermarket roof-rack," according to Jalopnik.
Jeep fans tend to congregate, which is why once news of Kendrick’s affiliation became known, Jeep groups began organizing a funeral procession in his honor.
The primary organizer was Catherine Fanaro, founder of Colorado Jeep Girls, who began a Facebook event to gather the hundreds of Jeeps looking to pay their respects to one of their own.
“As soon as we heard that Kendrick was a Jeeper, it kind of spread like wildfire throughout the Jeep community,” Fanaro told CBS4 Denver. She quoted over 800 RSVPs for the procession on Wednesday and was able to get approval for 600. Denver police were also on hand providing a full motorcade.
"This is a huge turnout,” Fanaro added. “I didn't expect it to get as big as it did, and it's not just Jeepers. It's other 4×4 enthusiasts and car clubs and stuff that have reached out and said, 'Hey, I want to be part of this.'"