Local News

2006 Top Newsmakers: Orange High School Shooting

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Alvaro Castillo
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. — (Aug. 30) A 19-year-old who allegedly opened fire at an Orange County high school in late August was obsessed with the April 1999 Columbine High School shooting where 12 students were killed, authorities said.

Alvaro Rafael Castillo was wearing a T-shirt with the phrase "Remember Columbine" when he was arrested outside Orange High School on Aug. 30, and he kept repeating the phrase when he was taken to jail.

Hours before the shooting, authorities said Castillo sent a grisly e-mail to the Colorado high school to announce his intentions. The day before, he also sent a letter and video to local newspapers explaining his alleged actions.

The letter refers repeatedly to school shootings and ends with the words, "I will die. I have wanted to die for years. I'm sorry."

Castillo was charged with 10 offenses in the shooting, including attempted murder and possession of weapons of mass destruction. He was also charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of his father, whose body was found just hours after the school shooting.

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

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