Shooting followup: White Center suspect held on $1 million bail; victim and friends were headed ‘to Alki’

Bail is set at $1 million for the 18-year-old SeaTac man arrested Friday in connection with the Wednesday night shooting that killed 17-year-old Ruben Castillo of Burien. Probable-cause documents made available today, following his Saturday bail hearing, reveal more details about the incident:

It happened at 9:51 pm last Wednesday. The victim was in the back seat of a Honda Accord with friends. They stopped at the Roxbury Texaco station to fuel up. The driver noticed “a group of males” at a bus stop east of the gas station. “The males were looking at him and he commented to his friends in the car, including (the victim).” The report does not say what was “commented,” but goes on to say, the driver got back into the car and drove out, northbound on 15th and then east on Roxbury, “with intent to go to Alki.”

As the car passed the suspect at the bus stop, the suspect, the report says, “pulled a 9mm pistol from his back pocket, loaded a magazine, and fired three rounds at the vehicle as it drove away eastbound. One round passed through the tail light and trunk and through the seat back of the passenger-side back seat, and into (the victim’s) back.” Mr. Castillo realized he had been shot, and “began to scream”; his friend drove to the North Highline Fire District station, a mile or so away, “where medical aid was rendered” until the victim was rushed to Harborview Medical Center, where, the report says, he died in surgery. The report says the suspect admitted he “had the gun and fired the shot” that proved deadly; it also mentions the burglary case we noted in our story on the arrest, and a $25,000 warrant related to it, and the attached police report notes his tattoos, one of which is a well-known regional gang name.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has until Wednesday to file charges.

14 Replies to "Shooting followup: White Center suspect held on $1 million bail; victim and friends were headed 'to Alki'"

  • Ray March 24, 2014 (11:22 am)

    Question: I am hearing talk this was racial/gang motivated (black vs hispanic). Is that the case? If so, why has this been left out of the report?

    • WSB March 24, 2014 (11:36 am)

      Ray, there is not a word about a motive in the probable-cause documents. So if you mean our report (as opposed to the police report itself, for which I can’t speak), nothing’s been “left out.” I don’t usually mention suspect’s body markings, but in fact did find it interesting that a gang name was among them, and that’s why I mentioned it, since there have been heightened gang concerns in the area. The tattoo mention was not in the narrative section but in the basic police report (where you find name, address, etc.) If and when charges are filed later this week, there likely will be more of a narrative (the one in these docs is rather short, but bail-hearing-stage narratives often are), as detectives would be working now to develop their case. – Tracy

  • vincent March 24, 2014 (11:50 am)

    Nice to hear that if this didn’t happen at one of the worst intersections in the city it would have just migrated to Alki. The trend of crime tourism continues.

  • West Seattle Bro March 24, 2014 (12:35 pm)

    Vincent did you even read the article? The guy who got shot was on his way to Alki not the people who shot him.

  • Joe March 24, 2014 (1:13 pm)

    Great detective work by the KCSD. Catching the suspect so quickly sends a strong message to the other young, violent criminals that you won’t be getting away with murder after all.

  • ScubaFrog March 24, 2014 (1:48 pm)

    Sadly, the murderer (if found guilty) will likely do less than 20 years for 2nd degree murder (20 years ago a prosecutor would have charged him, and convicted him of 1st degree murder). He’ll be 38, and have plenty of time to start a new life. Any burglary convictions will run concurrent.

    Our sentencing guidelines are so light now. In Ballard, in 1994, when poor Melissa Fernandes was murdered – her murderer was rightfully sentenced to 51 years in prison (I’d have favored a life sentence). He of course was convicted of 1st degree murder.

    We have got to put murderers in prison for life. Today’s sentencing guidelines are no deterrent to crime. The recidivism rates prove that. There would be no recidivism on behalf of the murderers, if we kept the convicted murdering trash in prison for their natural lives.

  • brad March 24, 2014 (3:48 pm)

    I’d prefer the death penalty for anyone convicted of a gang-related murder or for shooting into the back of a moving car like this. Unfortunately, with a criminal-coddling Governor like Inslee, who suspended executions while he’s in office, we won’t see murder victims and their families seeing any real justice for a long time in this state.

  • rockberry March 24, 2014 (3:56 pm)

    I’m approached anytime I stop by ANY business in WC, by gang bangers “hey baby, hey” afte they get no response, “well f!*k you then bit!*! By panhandlers and dope feinds zombies. I’ve learned to ignore them and go about my business. I don’t know what the teens inside the victim’s vehicle said to the group of gang bangers. I do know that one idiot had a gun and intended to use it on anyone who looked at him wrong. The victim was my daughter’s classmate. He did not dress gangster, baggy or sagging clothing, no tattoos. He was a clean cut kid who liked souped up Honda civics. No arrest record. Now look at the shooter, look at his record, look at his style of dress, look at his gang tattoos! I hope he gets the maximum in his sentence!

  • Eric1 March 24, 2014 (9:49 pm)

    It is sad that normal people have to endure wanna-be-gangsters in White Center. It isn’t like KCSO doesn’t know that this is a problem area. They are just unwilling to do something about it.
    Unfortunately, I don’t see it getting any better. King County is losing money in White Center and if they “fix” it now, the problem will just come back later. Fixing it will also make it less likely that section of unincorporated King County will vote to join a city with better services. It isn’t right but I see how King County basically can’t afford to keep White Center safe.

  • Blane March 24, 2014 (10:46 pm)

    Hopefully, either Burien or Seattle will absorb White Center one of these days and finally clean it up. Until then, I usually just stay out of the area between Roxbury and 106th at night.

  • JB March 24, 2014 (11:20 pm)

    Maybe it’s just my way of thinking but it would seem that if someone was at 15th and Roxbury with the intent to go to Alki they would turn west on Roxbury and take Delridge or 35th towards Alki instead of turning East away from the most direct route and driving several miles out of the way.

    • WSB March 24, 2014 (11:28 pm)

      Already had that discussion with somebody offsite … we do so much driving around for event and breaking-news coverage, I know that from that area it sometimes seems easier to take Roxbury/Olson down to West Marginal, and then that’s a no-lights path to Spokane and to Harbor.
      Have no proof or direct knowledge but that is what occurred to me.

  • datamuse March 25, 2014 (5:27 am)

    WSB, that’s the route I usually take to Alki from the Highland Park/White Center area. Lighter traffic, fewer stoplights.

  • boy March 25, 2014 (4:45 pm)

    Blaine, Right now the city of seattle can’t even keep people safe in there own downtwon. What makes you think they will do better in white center.

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