Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Juan Castillo, 18, Found Dead of Gunshot Wound Near Santa Monica UCLA Hospital

Member of last year's Santa Monica High School Football Team found murdered.



Juan Castillo attended Virginia Park programs as a child in Santa Monica.

His body was found on a dark and rainy night on 16th Street in Santa Monica, his hometown, where he had gone to high school. He had been a member of the santa monica high school football team and graduated in June, 2016.

Juan Castillo was born and raised in Santa Monica. He had a job working at Burger King, but he was planning on enlisting in the military soon, and he was just 18 years old.

KNBC Los Angeles is reporting that Police found shell casings around a liquor store at 2100 Pico Blvd. KNBC was told that Police found Castillo with a head wound, just one block from the Emergency entrance to UCLA-Santa Monica Hospital. He was with a woman who had evidently driven him to that location.

He was found just after 5 am Sunday morning, a full 4 hours after the shooting. Why it took 4 hours to drive half a mile from 2100 Pico to the hospital is unclear. Police did not know whether the shooting was gang related. When police found Castillo, his shoes were missing.

Here's the police department press release:

"The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) is seeking the public's assistance with any witnesses to a suspicious death investigation.

On February 26, 2017 at about 5:08 a.m. SMPD responded to the 1300 block of 16th Street regarding an unconscious victim lying on the ground with a head injury.


Juan Castillo in a Samohi Viking's football uniform in 2015

Santa Monica Fire Department Paramedics were notified and responded. Upon arrival, the victim was pronounced deceased by paramedics. SMPD Detectives were notified and responded to the scene for an investigation.

Detectives are investigating a possible link to this investigation with an earlier radio call for service. Earlier this morning at about 12:45 a.m., SMPD responded to the 2100 block of Pico Blvd regarding a possible shooting. Officers discovered evidence of a shooting in the immediate area; however, no victims or suspects were located. At this time, it is unknown if the two incidents are related.

The investigation is ongoing and detectives are interested in speaking with anyone who was in the area. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective D. Larios (310) 458- 8937; Detective B. Cooper (310) 458-8478"


Reader Comments

tmoore writes: RIP Juan. A memorial page has been set up for him. Please feel free to add your condolences.

amy writes:

God Bless Juan and his family. He was a wonderful guy and great football player at SAMOHI!

Nsteers writes:

Another local kid lost to violence in the Pico Neighborhood I remember helping Juan with his homework attending the Virginia Ave Park after school program. He will be missed RIP.

James writes:

No need to post about his home that you consider the hood..


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