Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Affidavit: Witness saw teen fire gun in Plant City killing

PLANT CITY — A 16-year-old gang member may have been the gunman who killed one and injured another last month, according to an arrest affidavit.

The affidavit details a witness' account that Javier Edgardo Castillo was riding in a sport utility vehicle when he pulled out a handgun, pointed it out the driver's-side rear window and fired twice.

Castillo was arrested Tuesday and accused of the Nov. 12 shooting death of Laronia Fay Bowers, 51, and the wounding of Edward Mincy, 59.

Castillo was taken to the Hillsborough County Juvenile Assessment Center and faces charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.

Another purported passenger in the SUV, 18-year-old Abel Cruz Dimas of Lakeland, already had been arrested in connection with the shooting. He, too, was charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.

Nearly a month after the killing, the arrest of Castillo came after results from a state ballistics report pointed to him as the probable shooter, said Plant City police spokesman Tray Towles.

The day of the shooting, police stopped the maroon Chevrolet SUV because the driver wasn't wearing a seat belt, the arrest affidavit said. Witnesses identified the vehicle as the one that left the fatal scene, and one witness recalled seeing gunfire from the SUV.

Plant City police detectives said they searched the vehicle and recovered a .357-caliber Western Derringer, loaded with two rounds, from under the driver's seat.

Castillo's fingerprints, the affidavit said, were found on the rounds.

Police say they also discovered one spent shell and several other live rounds in the vehicle. The arrest affidavit indicates the handgun and ammunition may be of the same caliber as the bullets that hit the victims.

Affidavits list Castillo as a Plant City High student, and both Dimas and Castillo are identified as members of the national gang Sur-13. But police spokesman Towles said the shooting did not appear to be gang-related or linked to gang retaliation.

Investigators also have said the shooting did not appear to be a random attack, but another affidavit in the investigation indicates Bowers and Mincy may not have been the intended victims.

Tuesday's arrest of Castillo will likely not affect the charges against Dimas, who was arrested Nov. 12, Towles said. But he added that evidence points to Castillo as the only gunman.

The investigation is ongoing.

Stephanie Wang can be reached at swang@tampabay.com or (813) 661-2443.

Affidavit: Witness saw teen fire gun in Plant City killing 12/08/11 [Last modified: Thursday, December 8, 2011 10:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018

    Blogs

    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    And Ramos is giving the Rays a pretty good glimpse of what that can be like.

    In Friday's 8-3 win over the Orioles, he hit a grand slam - …

  2. Buccaneers-Vikings Scouting Report: Watching Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen

    Bucs

    No matter how much film we study, no matter how much data we parse, we just don't know how an NFL season will unfold.

  3. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  4. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum

    Hurricanes

    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm. 
  5. After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar

    Blogs

    After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

    DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.