After learning on Air Force One that the parents of slain student hero Kendrick Castillo had attended his Colorado Springs rally from which he was returning, President Trump had one request: "Get them on the phone."
Kendrick Castillo was the brave high schooler who rushed a shooter at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado last year, undoubtedly saving many lives and losing his own in the process. He was fatally shot as he pinned the shooter against the wall, but bought enough time for some of his fellow students to flee and for others to help neutralize the shooter.
Kendrick was the only one to die in what otherwise could have been a high casualty event.
Jenna Ellis, Senior Legal Advisor to the Trump 2020 Campaign, was the staffer who told the president that Mr. and Mrs. Castillo had attended the rally and she received the request to get them on the phone.
"There was no hesitation," Ellis told Disrn. "It wasn't like 'let's send them a letter.' He immediately wanted to talk to them and hear their story."
Once the team landed, Ellis was able to get Mr. and Mrs. Castillo on the phone, and President Trump spoke to them for roughly 10 minutes, offering condolences about their son, asking how they were doing, and listening to them.
John Castillo, Kendrick's father, told Fox 31 Denver:
"We just had finished dinner and were relaxing and the phone rings and someone asks are you Mr. Castillo and I said yes I am, and would you have time to speak to President Donald Trump?
At first I was in disbelief, I thought it was someone playing a joke."
Ellis told Disrn that this is a side of President Trump that the media never shows:
"This is just how the president is, despite the way the media paints him. He does things like this all the time that never get reported. This was not a photo op; there were no cameras; he didn't care if anyone knew. He just genuinely cares about people and wanted to talk and listen to Kendrick's parents.
So I got them on the line and handed my phone to the president, and he sat there with my sparkly pink iPhone and told those parents how very special their son was."
Knowing that Kendrick was very interested in aerospace, Trump also invited Mr. and Mrs. Castillo to visit Washington, D.C. and tour NASA in their son's honor.