A young man who was found lying unconscious with a head injury in a Santa Monica street early Sunday was fatally shot, police confirmed.
Juan Castillo was found about 5:10 a.m. the 1300 block of 16th Street, just steps away from the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center emergency room, according to the Santa Monica Police Department. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Detectives are investigating a possible link to a call of a shooting about 12:45 a.m. in the 2100 block of Pico Boulevard. Responding officers found evidence of a shooting in that area, but no victims or possible shooters were found at that scene, police said. It remains unclear if the two incidents are related, but officials later confirmed that Castillo had been fatally shot.
Castillo graduated from Santa Monica High School last summer, and played for the Vikings football team.
His father, Jorge Castillo, said his son wanted to join the Marines.
Though there has been some discrepancy on Castillo's age, the Los Angeles Times, citing the coroner's office, reported that he was 18.
"He was a great kid, he was ready to serve the country," Jorge Castillo told KTLA Sunday.
Oscar De La Torre, of the Pico Youth and Family Center, described the younger Castillo as “good young man.”
“He played football, he went to school, he graduated. He was a good kid all the way around,” De La Torre said.
A GoFundMe page has been created seeking "justice" for the victim.
"Juan Castillo was a loving son, brother, friend, nephew and a great athlete," the page reads. "His dreams were shattered this morning and all that we ask for is justice."
Anyone with additional information can call Detective D. Larios at 310-458-8937, Detective B. Cooper at 310-458-8478, or the Santa Monica Police Department at 310-458-8491.