Man arrested in deadly shooting of airman outside father's Houston home

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Monday, August 23, 2021
Man arrested in deadly shooting of airman on leave in Houston
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Police say the shooter had an "AR-15 style rifle" in the deadly shooting of Albert Castillo Jr., who was in town from Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A suspect has been arrested in the murder of an airman who was on leave to visit family in Houston.

Giovanni Ornelas, 31, is charged with the murder of 22-year-old Albert Castillo Jr.

Police say Ornelas shot and killed Castillo and injured his father in southeast Houston two weeks ago.

ORIGINAL STORY: Airman shot to death outside father's Houston home was on leave

Castillo was an active duty Airman First Class, according to his aunt, Cynthia Ortiz.

He was on a two-week leave from Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska to visit family and friends in Houston, where he grew up.

On the evening of Aug. 8, as he was standing outside his father's house in the 5600 block of Newport Drive, he was shot to death.

According to the Houston Police Department, Ornelas had an "AR-15 style rifle" and sped off toward the Gulf Freeway.

Castillo's father, 39-year-old Albert Castillo Sr., was also shot in the arm and survived. The airman's family told ABC13 he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

"He was so young," said Ortiz. "He could have done so much more. He could have touched so many more lives. We lost a mentor. We lost a man of God. We lost a son, a nephew, a brother. We lost so much."

Castillo graduated from Eastwood Academy High School but played football for Austin High School.

He was taking classes at Houston Community College when, last year, he decided to join the Air Force.

"He was a very brave man. The honor of serving his country was important to him," said Ortiz.

Police have not released a motive in the deadly shooting.

The family has established a GoFundMe.