9OYS Crime Watch
KGUN9 Exclusive: Family of man shot by police speaks out
Web Producer: Cory Marshall, Mekita Rivas
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Still reeling from the reality, the family of 23-year-old Johnny Castillo-Romero says they want two things; to clear Johnny's name and to get some answers.
The 23-year-old was shot and killed Saturday following a police disturbance call on Tucson's south side. Initial police reports say Castillo-Romero was asked to show his hands repeatedly. Police fired after Castillo-Romero drew a gun from his waistband.
In an exclusive interview, the family of Castillo-Romero sat down with KGUN9.
Castillo-Romero's aunt, Sonia Romero says her nephew lived two minutes from where he was shot. Romero told KGUN9 that he always sat on his gun out of fear it would fall from his waist while in his wheelchair.
"He's not bad. He's not bad at all. He's a loving, loving person. And the way he died he didn't deserve to die that way," said Romero.
Romero says she and her family have yet to hear directly from police.
"I just don't understand it," said Romero.
In a statement released to KGUN9, Tucson Police spokesman, Sgt. Chris Widmer says, "It's still an open and active investigation. We're still gathering facts and analyzing evidence that we need to present to the county attorney. We're also conducting an administrative investigation into our officer's actions. Therefore, it wouldn't be appropriate to comment any further than releasing facts already released until the investigation is complete."
KGUN 9 asked the family, "If you could send a message to the police officers involved in the shooting, what would you want to say?"
"How could you? How could you do something like that to a man in a wheelchair--whether he's in a wheelchair or not. He don't deserve that many times. He don't deserve to die that hard," said Romero.
Castillo-Romero was one of three shot back in November 2008 in a series of drive-by shootings. The then 19-year-old was paralyzed from the waist down. His best friend, James Noriega, died on scene.
Romero says ever since then her nephew carried a gun, "he just kind of felt not protected anymore. He wanted the person that shot him and put him in a wheelchair and the guy that put James in a casket. He just wanted justice."
Now, his family says they seek justice for Johnny.