Gunshot wound to head kills Inglis weekend resident; son arrested

At 10:58 am on Saturday, July 29, Levy County deputies responded to 5530 SE 194th Lane in Inglis after 22 year-old Matthew James Castro of Tampa reported to Levy County Dispatch that he’d accidentally shot his father inside the home.

Responding Levy County deputies and Inglis Fire Rescue personnel found 61 year-old Manuel Castro, also of Tampa, on the floor in the living room with a gunshot wound to his left temple. First responders from Inglis Fire Rescue immediately administered first aid, however Manuel Castro did not survive.

Investigators from the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) and Crime Scene Investigations and Evidence Unit (CSI) arrived at the scene and spoke with Matthew Castro, Manuel Castro’s son. Matthew told investigators he was in the kitchen area of the home, ìplayingî with a 0.22 rifle. He said his father had given him permission to play with the firearm and told him it wasn’t loaded. While trying to take the clip out of the gun, he said, it fired, and the bullet struck his father, Manuel Castro, in the temple. Matthew said that his father fell to the floor, bleeding from his head, making a snoring sound.

Crime Scene and CID investigators reconstructed the crime scene and determined that the incident had not occurred as Matthew first reported. The bullet trajectory, bullet entry and exit wounds, Matthew’s stated location at the time of the shooting, along with the location of the victim’s body and the location of the shell casing, all conflicted with Matthewís statements. The arrest report stated, “Based on the trajectory and the layout of the crime scene, it is inconveivable that Matthew did not see his father prior to discharging the rifle.” The report also stated, “Matthew’s description of firearms and the rifle in question, along with his hunting experience, was suggestive of his proficiency of firearms. He described the parts of a firearm, talked about the accuracy of the scope, and listed some of the animals he has killed with a firearm.”

Investigators also spoke with law enforcement personnel at the Hillsborough County Sheriffís Office and learned that Matthew has a history of violence. The HCSO shared numerous incidents of contacts with the Castro family, due to calls for service with complaints that Matthew had battered his father or destroyed family property.

A relative told investigators that Matthew is a violent individual, that he had attacked her with a machete in 2015, that he’d battered his father on several occasions, and had also threatened to kill him. The woman said she’d spoken with the elder Castro, earlier in the morning, and he’d told her that Matthew was in an agitated mood, which is usually a precursor to acts of violence.

When deputies first arrived at the weekend home, an Inglis neighbor approached deputies and immediately asked if Matthew had harmed Manuel. He said he is afraid of Matthew. He said that Manuel slept with pepper spray near his bed to use as a self defense tool against Matthew.

According to the press release, Manuel Castro and his son Matthew both reside in Tampa, and Manuel Castro owns the home in Inglis. Manuel and Matthew were spending the weekend at the Inglis home.

Matthew Castro was arrested, charged with Second Degree Murder. He is being held at the Levy County Detention Facility, with his bond set at none.

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