The shooters may have thought they were destined for fame when they attacked the STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, but instead the world is talking about the brave, bespectacled 18-year-old who gave his life to protect his classmates.
Kendrick Castillo is being hailed as a hero. So is Riley Howell, the 21-year-old who died last week after body-slamming the University of North Carolina at Charlotte shooter. And so is Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 61, who was killed shielding her rabbi in last month’s assault on the Poway synagogue.
Not only did their sacrifice help staunch what could have been much higher casualty counts — four people died in the three would-be mass shootings from April 27 to May 7 — but the stories of extraordinary courage have dominated the news cycle, depriving the alleged shooters of the media oxygen needed to achieve lasting notoriety.
Make no mistake, that’s what would-be mass shooters want, said Tom Teves, whose son Alex was killed in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting. He and his wife Caren Teves founded No Notoriety, a group aimed at keeping media mentions of the attackers to a minimum.
“Slowly, people are starting to recognize that the contagion impact is real,” said Mr. Teves. “We’re not espousing censorship. We’re asking for responsibility.”
His group has asked the press to elevate the names, images and stories of victims and heroes while limiting suspects or perpetrators to one reference per story, but no headline mentions and no photos over the fold.