It seems that Alvaro Castillo’s obsession with Columbine was not his only obsession…
Investigators knew in April that a teenager now accused of killing his father before opening fire outside Orange High School was fascinated with school shootings, according to a high-school acquaintance who received a video from him saying he was going to kill himself.
Alvaro Castillo sent Anna Rose the video last spring. It came in the mail April 22, two days after Castillo was picked up by Orange County Sheriff’s deputies and committed to a local hospital after his parents reported that he was suicidal.
Rose was away at college when the video arrived at her family’s home, but her mother, Bonnie, immediately called 911 when her son started watching it that night. A deputy came to get the tape.
Rose’s brother played some of the video over the phone to her that night, and she was so scared she didn’t return home for a couple of months, she said.
Rose said in an interview Wednesday that she met with Lt. Larry Faucette at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office a few days later and Faucette showed her Castillo’s journal, which included photographs of her and detailed his admiration for the shooters in the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School near Littleton, Colo.
The day that Castillo was committed, April 20, was the seven-year anniversary of those shootings, in which two high school boys killed 13 people before killing themselves.
Rose said Faucette told her that he had read the journal and that Castillo was “sick” and would be in the hospital for a long time.
But a few days after that, Rose said, Faucette called to say that Castillo had been released.
“I kept saying, ‘Please don’t let him go, he’s not stable no matter what they think,’ ” Rose said.
Castillo had a high school crush on Rose. In a video mailed to The Chapel Hill News last week, he brandished a gun with her name on it. The video also showed a second gun labeled Arlene.
Someone from the sheriff’s office might have approached Castillo, according to a letter that arrived at the Roses’ home after the Orange High School shooting. Castillo wrote to Anna Rose that he knew her “parents are scared.”
“The sheriff told me you went to the police department so I would not bother you again. I kept my word,” he wrote.
In the letter, dated Aug. 27 and postmarked the day of the school shooting, Castillo also said he would “die in three days or so,” and that he wouldn’t “go after” Rose’s little sister, who is enrolled at Orange High School.
Bonnie Rose said she couldn’t understand why the system could not do more to protect her daughter and family.
“That’s why I sent an e-mail asking people to pray,” Bonnie Rose said. “I realized that was the only protection we had, is if God protected us.”
Which leaves me with two questions. Why did the doctors release him when he was obviously still bananas and who’s Arlene?