Family apologizes for loved one fatally shot by SAPD officer

Richard Castilleja, 29, killed by officer after firing into crowd

By Mariza Mendoza - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The family of a man killed by a veteran San Antonio police officer over the weekend apologized Monday to the families of the two people he shot.

Family members of Richard Castilleja, 29, said it was out of character for him to be aggressive. His cousin, Stephanie Ramirez, described Castilleja has a great person who was kind and loving.  

"He was not the type to not surrender. If they would have told him to put the gun down, he would have put it down," Ramirez said.

Castilleja's grandmother, Minerva Silva, agrees.

"He was bipolar, and then with the alcohol, and I don't know why he would do it," Silva said. 

Investigators said the veteran police officer responded to the sound of gunfire near Vance Jackson Road and Mossrock Drive just after 2 a.m Saturday.

When he arrived, he found Castilleja aiming a gun at people outside Dad's Karaoke Bar.

Police say the officer feared for the safety of the people and fired at Castilleja, killing him.

Investigators say it was the end to a wild scene that saw Castilleja firing into the crowd, wounding two people and threatening others.

They say the officer worked a wreck nearby when he heard the shooting and rushed toward the sound.

Investigators say the officer had no choice but to shoot the gunman in order to protect others.

Police say Castilleja and a woman, identified by police as 25-year-old Desiree Castilleja, had been tossed out of the bar earlier and then threatened to return.

Investigators say the Castillejas then went and waited near a convenience store for the bar to close and people to come out.

They say he then went back and began firing into the crowd.

EMS took the two people wounded by Castilleja to the hospital. Both are expected to recover.

Police arrested Desiree Castilleja and say she's now facing two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. They suspect she was to act as the getaway driver after the shootings.

Ramirez said Richard Castijella's three young son are now without a father.

"Unfortunately, he's not coming back, and we have to prepare them, and our family has to prepare them, to say goodbye," said Ramirez.

Desiree Castilleja remains in jail, charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

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