Local News

School Shooting Suspect Held Without Bond

Posted August 31, 2006 6:02 a.m. EDT

— A man who authorities allege fired upon an Orange County high school Wednesday is being held without bond on an unrelated murder charge.

Alvaro Rafael Castillo, 19, of Hillsborough, is charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of his father, Rafael Huezo Castillo, whose body was found Wednesday afternoon in a house in northern Orange County.

Authorities ordered him to be held at Central Prison for his own safety.

Alvaro Castillo was arrested Wednesday outside Orange High School, shortly after a man used a rifle to fire at the school. Two students suffered minor injuries in the incident.

Authorities found ammunition, weapons and homemade pipe bombs inside a van the man drove to the school.

Orange High was back on a normal schedule Thursday, and the two injured students returned to class, officials said.

Castillo was charged with 10 other offenses in the school shooting, including attempted murder and possession of weapons of mass destruction.

Castillo's mother and younger sister, who is a student at Orange High and was at school during the shooting, cried in the courtroom Thursday morning as the charges against their son and brother were detailed.

The family moved to Orange County four years ago from Spain, said neighbors, who described Alvaro Castillo as quiet and mild-mannered. His father was a custodian for Durham Public Schools who worked at Southwest Elementary School for three years and was to work at Oak Grove Elementary School this year, officials said.

Authorities said in court that they believe Alvaro Castillo had planned the school shooting for some time and premeditated his father's slaying.

A graduate of Orange High, Castillo told authorities he has been obsessed for years with the April 1999 school shooting in Columbine, Colo. A pair of teen gunmen killed 12 students and a teacher before taking their own lives in that case.

Castillo was wearing a T-shirt with the phrase "Remember Columbine" when he was arrested outside the high school, and he kept repeating the phrase Wednesday night when he was taken to jail.

North Carolina National Guard officials said Thursday that Castillo had been a private for the Army National Guard who never completed basic training before officials determined he was medically unqualified for military service. He was considered a trainee and was never deployed for service, officials said.

No information was provided on what medical condition caused him to be discharged from service.