Minnesota Children Mourn Beloved School Employee Philando Castile

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11233560_1144385048921900_5206249727049119349_nPhilando Castile was a much beloved member of his Minnesota community, especially among the students and staff at the school cafeteria where he had been working for more than a decade.

“One coworker said, ‘Kids loved him. He was smart, over-qualified. He was quiet, respectful, and kind. I knew him as warm and funny; he called me his ‘wing man.’ He wore a shirt and tie to his supervisor interview and said his goal was to one day ‘sit on the other side of this table,'” the school district said in a statement to NPR.

Castile was an alumnus of the school and went back to work in its cafeteria after he graduated. Two years ago he was promoted to supervisor. His coworkers said he was smart, quiet, and kind. Students say he made an effort to know all the kids who came through the school.

According to the New York Times, Castile was shot multiple times by a Minnesota police officer after being pulled over for a broken tail light. Castile’s girlfriend, Lavish Reynolds, was in the car with him, and their four-year-old daughter was in a car seat in the back seat when it happened. Reynolds captured the aftermath of the shooting on video (Warning: Graphic content).

Reynolds remains composed and quiet for most of the video, answering the officer’s orders and saying she will do what he says. She starts to break down when she realizes her fiance, the father of her baby, is dead. Throughout the whole thing, she continues to refer to the police officer as, “sir.”

“Please don’t tell me this, Lord. Please, Jesus, don’t tell me that he’s gone,” she said. “Please, officer, don’t tell me that you just did this to him. You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir.”

Reynolds’ video is likely the most horrible thing most people have ever seen. As Castile lies dying in his car of four gunshot wounds, the couple’s four-year-old daughter can be heard trying to comfort her mother from the back seat, calling: “It’s OK mama, It’s OK I’m right here with you.”

That little girl is four years old! She just witnessed her father be murdered in front of her. And this needs to be reiterated a million times: The police officer fired his gun into a car with a child in the back seat.

This whole situation is devastating and wrong. Castile’s coworkers and the children he worked with are mourning a friend, and Castile’s mother, daughter, and fiancee have experienced a loss nobody should ever have to go through, and none of them will ever be the same.

(Photo: Facebook/Philando Castile)