Dad to wanted gunman: Does hand gesture 'require you to execute' my son?

Mycah Hatfield Image
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Father of teen killed says son was light in a world of darkness
This family is struggling as they mourn the loss of their eldest son.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The father of a teenager killed in what is believed to be a road rage shooting is pleading for help identifying the gunman.

David Castro, 17, died Thursday after he was put on life support following Tuesday night's shooting.

Paul Castro and his two sons were leaving the Astros game around 11 p.m. when they encountered a man in a white Buick Lacrosse on Chartres Street near Preston, police said.

The father said the driver tried to get in front of him in traffic.

"This guy, he was so close to me that he was almost chipping the paint on my truck," Paul recalled during a news conference on Friday. "I kept moving forward and that's when he leaned out [of his car,] I was like, 'I've already let three people in.' That's my hand gesture. That hand gesture got my son executed and that's not fair."

The suspect followed the family onto I-10 East and took the Wayside exit along with them. Detectives said the man fired several times at the Castro family's truck as they made a U-turn under the East Freeway. He continued following them onto I-10 headed west but veered away at some point.

RELATED: 17-year-old dies after being shot in the head while driving home from Astros game

HPD offered a correction and an apology hours after stating a teen died, while also releasing a clearer photo of the suspect vehicle.

David was shot in the head. The father and his other son were not injured.

Houston police offered a correction and an apology hours after stating a teen died, while also offering to release a clearer photo of the suspect vehicle.

The father drove to McGowen and US-59 and called 911 for help. David was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital where he was admitted with critical injuries and later died.

Paul said doctors are evaluating whether or not David's organs can be donated to someone in need.

Meanwhile, a sketch of the suspect was released on Friday by detectives. He is being described as a Black man or a Hispanic man with a darker complexion. Investigators said he stands at about 5 feet 8 inches or 5 feet 10 inches and is in his 20s or early 30s.

He is said to be a thin man with a muscular build.

Street cameras captured photos of the suspect's car. HPD said the white Buick Lacrosse has a sunroof, but it doesn't have a front license plate. They said the car has a paper tag on the back.

The headlights reportedly have a slight yellow tint. Detectives said the rims have seven holes, which is not standard.

"A person who behaved the way he did is a threat to all of Houston [and] all of Texas and this person is probably not afraid to use violence again," Paul said. "This person needs to be taken off the street."

They are asking for anyone with information about the suspect or the encounter to come forward. The family is struggling as they mourn the loss of their eldest son.

Paul called David a light in the world that is sometimes dark. He said his son was qualified to be a National Merit Scholar and wanted to go to Texas A&M or Purdue University to study chemical engineering.

"We had had a meeting with the college counselor and she was going over options that she thought were available to him," Paul recalled. "Seeing that today, as I went to grab a cup of coffee, and knowing that all those college letters are going to be coming ... it's too much to bear, honestly."

Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Thursday the reward to capture David's suspected killer went up by $5,000 to $10,000.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact HPD Major Assaults of Crime Stoppers at (713)-222-TIPS.

For updates on this case, follow ABC13 reporter Mycah Hatfield on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.