Heroic teen recounts decision to lunge at STEM school shooter

"It's strange to think of people calling me a hero," Joshua Jones said in a news conference on May 14, 2019. Joshua was one of three students who lunged at a gunman in his school one week earlier.
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DENVER (KKTV) - One of the three boys lauded as heroes after lunging at a school shooter last week says he hopes no other student ever has to make that sort of life-risking decision.

"You're never taught to run towards this kind of thing," Joshua Jones said in a news conference Tuesday. "You’re taught to make the decision to go away. But we made the decision that was right for us. And I’m glad I made it, but I just hope that nobody else has to ever make that decision again."

Joshua and classmates Brendan Bialy and Kendrick Castillo were in a British literature class at STEM Schoo of Highlands Ranch May 7 when a teenage gunman stormed the room.

"The shooter came in. He retrieved the gun from where he was carrying it, he brought it up and said 'nobody move.' Me, Brendan and Kendrick all got up pretty much at the same time. I was a little bit after them because I needed to make sure that it was actually real and actually happening," Joshua said.

"You never expect that to happen, you never expect to make that choice at any point of your life. Then we rushed him. I pulled him to the ground, Brendan got the gun off of him, Kendrick shoved him against the wall first off, then I asked Brendan to take my phone and I called my mom because she always has been a problem-solver for me."

Joshua took two gunshots to his leg but escaped with his life. Kendrick was killed in the scuffle.

"Kendrick was a wonderful person. He was going off to college. He was doing great things, and it’s truly a shame that he had to leave us so early, and it’s truly a shame that he had to make that kind of decision and make a decision that led to his early -- passing," Joshua said.

The experience has left Joshua wanting to make a career of helping others. He told reporters Tuesday that he hopes to train to become an EMT after he completes a mission for his church next year.

"I'm just glad that I was able to come home. It’s unfortunate that I had to make that decision ... but I’m just glad to be home and be able to talk to my parents."

A memorial service is planned Wednesday for Castillo, the same day the two teenagers charged in the shooting are due in court. 11 News will have full coverage on our website and Facebook page, as well as a report on our evening shows.