In the Spring of 2019, 18 year old Kenrick Castillo, top left, charged an active shooter at his high school to block bullets from hitting his friends. Kenrick had already taken his Catholic faith very seriously and was only 18 years old when he died from this heroic act. A Catholic school teacher who knew him later recalled, “In a video from her class that she posted to Facebook, Kendrick [acted] out the part of Jesus, going to search for his apostles or to comfort a suffering person, blessing them with the sign of the cross and inviting them to join him.” Kenrick’s father, John Castillo, said to local news about his son’s death shortly after it happened, “It doesn’t surprise me. He cared enough about people that he would do something like that, even though it’s against my better judgment. I wish he had gone and hid, but that’s not his character. His character is about protecting people, helping people.”
In the Spring of 2021, Officer Eric Talley (top right) was 51 years old when he went into a supermarket to confront an active shooter and was killed, leaving a wife and 7 kids behind. Shortly after his death a couple weeks ago, The Washington Post interviewed Eric’s sister Brooks who said, “I honestly know my brother, when he heard there was a shooting in a supermarket, I know his first thought was, ‘There are kids in there.’ He loved his kids. His family shopped at King Soopers. I know Eric would have wanted to save every single one of those lives. I know why he flew in there first, because he was thinking, there are families in that store.”
The obvious thread between Kenrick and Eric is that they both fulfilled directly what Our Lord said in the Gospel of St. John, Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.—John 15:13. Both men chose other lives before their own life, much like Our Lord. Obviously, such a death as endured by Kenrick and Eric is not a punishment but rather a reward for having lived the very next line found in the Gospel: You are My friends, if you do the things that I command you.—John 15:14. Indeed, both Coloradans lived their faith in an extremely strong manner before their heroic deaths. (I did not know Kenrick or Eric personally, but I knew people who knew them both and they would testify to this.)
Finally, although not tackled by mainstream media, NewsMax points out that this recent Colorado shooting that took the lives of Officer Eric Talley and 9 other Americans may meet the criteria for this to be considered another act of Muslim terrorism on US soil. Time stamp 20 seconds to 50 seconds:
Does this mean that Officer Talley died in odium fidei? Probably not, since the shooter was likely targeting Americans more than Christians, per se. However, it comes pretty close.