First Brendan Bialy helped stop a shooting at his high school on May 7, now he’s officially a United States Marine after graduating boot camp on Sept. 20.
Bialy was a poolee at STEM High School Highlands Ranch, a K-12 school of 1,800 students in the Highlands Ranch suburb just south of Denver, when he helped stop two school shooters, CBS reported. Since the shooting, Bialy went on to join the Marine Corps where he earned distinction as the Platoon Honor Man while attending boot camp in San Diego.
During the May shooting incident, Bialy joined others, including 18-year old Kenrick Castillo — the only person who died in the shooting— and stopped the shooter. Castillo, Bialy said, is the real hero.
“I want to make it clear. Kendrick Castillo died a legend,” Bialy said the day after the deadly shooting. “Kendrick refused to be a victim.”
Castillo’s actions provided “enough time to get underneath our desks, to get ourselves safe, and to run across the room to escape,” Student Nui Giasolli told NBC News.
Eight other students were injured in the shooting, including Joshua Jones, who survived being shot twice while helping to help disarm one of the shooters.
“The shooter came in, he retrieved the gun from what he was carrying it in, he brought it up said ‘nobody move,’”Jones told CBS4 Denver.
Bialy said he saw the best in people that day.
“I got to see two heroes — two regular high school kids — two really awesome people, jump into action without any hesitation. And I was more than lucky to join them,” Bialy said. “Someone entered the building with incredibly malicious intent, using their cowardice, surprise and superior weapons, and they lost. They completely and utterly lost to good people. And that is plain and simple.”
“It’s a scary thing, you know. I’m not going to pretend it’s not. It’s terrifying,” he said. “But I’m not going to go to school, I’m not going to go other places fearing myself. I’m not going to let some coward, who decided to exercise his last little pathetic ‘hoorah’ have any determination on my life.”
“The world, there’s bad people out there, but there are a lot of good people out there, too. There is far more good in the world than there is bad. And I promise you that, seriously,” Bialy said.
After the shooting, the Bialy family sent out an emailed statement issued by lawyer Mark L. expressing their condolences for the victims and their family and friends.
“We’d like to commend the immediate response of law enforcement and assure all we are strong with the love of our families, community, friends, and every one sending concern, wishes, and strength. We will persevere,” the family’s May statement said.
Private First Class Bialy departed Monday departed Sept. 20 for training at the Marine Corps School of Infantry-West in Camp Pendleton, Calif.