Florida man charged in Gary bank robbery, security guard's murder; 2nd suspect still on run

Daughter of Richard Castellana, security guard killed during Gary bank robbery, remembers father

ByAlexis McAdams and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, June 14, 2021
Daughter of security guard killed during Gary bank robbery speaks out
Richard Castellana was shot and killed while working security at this bank in Gary, Indiana Friday after he was ambushed by two men robbing the bank.

GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- A Florida man has been charged for his involvement in the murder of a security guard during a bank robbery in Gary last week, according to the Lake County (IN) Sheriff's Office.

Richard Castellana had it all.

The former Cook County Sheriff's Deputy had a wife, kids, and finally retirement.

"[He was] the best dad that I could ever ask for, honestly. Really," Castellana's daughter Caitlin said.

The 55-year-old recently retired in 2019 after more than 30 years on the job to enjoy in life in the south suburbs with his wife. He also finally had more time to spend with his two kids.

"[We were] very close. I am my father's daughter," Caitlin said. "I have his personality. I came to him for stuff."

On Friday, Castellana was shot and killed while working security at this bank in Gary, Indiana after he was ambushed by two men robbing the bank.

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Both suspects were caught on surveillance cameras around 1 p.m. carrying guns before ambushing Castellana outside the First Midwest Bank at 1975 Ridge Road. Witnesses said they heard at least two gunshots.

"I heard the gunshots, but thought it was fireworks," Randy Martin said.

James King, 24, now faces murder and robbery charges in connection to the case, the Lake County (IN) Sheriff's Office announced Sunday.

The suspect, who is from Miami, Florida, was found hiding behind the trees in a wooded area near 43rd Avenue and Gardield Street.

Law enforcement said they found a backpack containing a .40 caliber Glock Model 22 handgun and approximately $9,000 in money when King was taken into custody, according to the probable cause affidavit filed with the Lake County, Indiaina Prosecutor's Office.

However, the other man involved is still on the run.

"This is not the way this kind of person should go, ever," said Caitlin, who is devastated by the loss.

She recalls the last time she spoke with her dad.

"The same morning before he left, he gave me a hug and a kiss. We were joking around. He said, 'I can hug and kiss you now because Stanley did not see.' Then he left for work -- that was it," she said. "I am glad the last moment was a good moment, if you know what I mean."

Castellana, who was also known as Ricky, was the guy people just wanted to be around.

"He was just the ultimate man. Never a bad word to say about anyone," said Castellana's longtime friend Jeff Hannah.

He was also known to be a Chicago sports fan through and through.

Born and raised on the South Side, Castellana loved the Chicago White Sox.

"We were supposed to go to the game tomorrow with him," Hannah said. "We are still going, but we are taking his kids."

It was in Blue Island where he met some of his closest friends.

"Ricky and I went to 1st grade together, said Santo Chichi, who is another longtime friend. "He was the life of the party. A jokester."

The spirit Castellana has are all memories his friends will cherish.

"He was like a brother to me. I do not know what I am going to do without him," Hannah added.

"We will continue to help the FBI in any way we can during this ongoing investigation," Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. said.