Colorado STEM student recalls moment when classmate became school shooter

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By Ben Kesslen

A senior at the Colorado school where two fellow students opened fire Tuesday, killing one and injuring eight, recalled the moment one of the shooters, a male classmate, pulled out a gun in her English class.

Nui Giasolli, a student at STEM School Highlands Ranch, a K-12 school in a Denver suburb, was in her British literature course when the shooting occurred.

Kendrick Castillo was fatally shot at a STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.John Castillo / via Facebook

The boy came to class late, Nui told the “Today” show on Wednesday. “The next thing I know he is pulling a gun and is telling nobody to move.”

“That’s when Kendrick lunged at him, and he shot Kendrick,” Nui said, “giving all of us enough time to get underneath our desks, to get ourselves safe, and to run across the room to escape.”

Student Kendrick Castillo, 18, died in the shooting. Two suspects, both students, are in custody, of whom one has been identified by police as Devon Erickson, 18. Nui said Devon was the shooter in her class.

Other students in addition to Kendrick tackled the shooter, Nui said, which she said saved her and fellow classmates’ lives.

They “were brave enough to bring him down so that all of us could escape and all of us could be reunited with our families.”

“I can’t thank them enough,” she said.

Among those who rushed the shooter were Brendan Bialy, a senior who plans to become a Marine after graduation, his father told NBC News.

Nyki Giasolli, Nui’s mother, whose son, Kupono, is also at the STEM school in 9th grade, said the shooting and aftermath has been a “nightmare.”

“It’s been so hard, but I did get to hold my babies last night and they are home with me now,” she told “Today.”

Nui said she is determined to return to school.

“I don’t want to give the shooters the satisfaction of being afraid of some place that was my second home for four years,” she said. “I want to show them that even though they did this terrible, terrible thing, that we can all come together and we can all make it a happy place again, because that’s what really matters.”