Cops: Man fatally shoots wife in front of kids in Griffith, kills self

Police are investigating a fatal shooting in the parking lot of Saint Mary's Church in Griffith.
April 22, 2014 3:50:44 AM PDT
A Chicago woman is dead after her estranged husband shot and killed her in a grade school parking lot Monday afternoon and then killed himself minutes later by his house in Gary, police said.

Police said the husband shot his wife in the parking lot as she was picking up their son from an after school program. The shooting took place in front of the couple's two children at 525 N. Broad St., about 4:30 p.m. Police say the wife was found lying in the parking lot, while the husband fled the scene on a motorcycle; police tracked him to his home in Gary in the garage at the rear of the house, where he shot himself.

The Lake County coroner identified the couple as Remanard Castro, 54, and Nina Castro, 42, who had recently moved to Chicago.

"The Gary officer made contact with Mr. Castro. After disobeying the officer's command, Mr. Castro turned the gun on himself and administered a fatal self-inflicted wound," said Chief Greg Mance, Griffith Police Department.

Police have had previous contact with the husband. Late last year, Gary police were called to his home for reports of an alleged sexual assault. However, Griffith police said the fatal shooting Monday appears to have stemmed from a domestic dispute.

The two sons, who are 14 and 15, are staying with relatives for now. St. Mary's said there were no classes Monday, only after-school activites. The school said it will have counselors on hand Tuesday.

The couple were divorcing, with a final hearing scheduled for June 10, according to Lake County court records.

The chief said Monday's incident is a "sad reminder that no community is immune to domestic violence."

Children participating in St. Mary's after-school program were secured and unharmed, police said.

Griffith resident Daniel MacFarlane was working in his garage across the street from the school when he said he heard a few bangs about 4:30 p.m. Monday. He peered outside the garage but didn't see anything. Shortly afterward, he said he saw a police car arrive and then a bunch of them.

"The kids in an after-school class were on lockdown," MacFarlane said. "My neighbor was kind of freaking out, so she went to pick up her kid."

He said another shooting occurred in a nearby alleyway last summer, but no one was injured.

"It's definitely kind of scary, especially since it happened around the time kids were out playing before the weather turned," he said.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.


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