Austin Del Castillo, Man Shot by Tempe Police on Mill Avenue, Dies

Tex Texin via Flickr

Austin Del Castillo, the man shot by Tempe cops on Mill Avenue last week, died yesterday.

A police spokesman said Del Castillo, 36, was shot in front of the Chili's restaurant at Mill Avenue and University Drive -- a stone's throw from the edge of the Arizona State University campus -- on the morning of September 19 after lunging at officers with a box cutter.

(If you heard about the incident from Fox 10, they mistakenly identified the weapon as a "box cunter.")

Police were responding to a call placed shortly after 8 a.m. that morning about a man threatening people on Mill Avenue with a box cutter.

The officer who shot Del Castillo, only identified as a 12-year veteran, was placed on administrative leave.

A police spokesman did say last week that Del Castillo was hospitalized with "what [are] believed to be life-threatening injuries" after he was shot, although he was not pronounced dead until nearly a week later.

Police Sergeant Steve Carbajal says the department has nothing else to add at this time.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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excuse me? did you really put this in a category called "how to get shot by the cops"? austin did not lung at the cops, get your facts straight you ignorant cunt.

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

It happens again and again, trigger-happy cops wasting suspect who was unarmed. A box cutter is not a deadly weapon. They could have brought him down and taken him into custody by taseing him.


I think the more pressing issue is how these individuals are being treated or in this case not being treated for mental illness. My heart goes out to this mans family and also to the officers involved. I can't even begin to imagine this scenario from either side.


People are pissed off about this. Multiple eyewitness accounts discounting the police and media version.  The media being total cowards just take "we won't discuss it further" for an answer.  Shots fired that apparently hit the Chilis and almost one of the workers. And NOBODY is reporting it.  Six shots fired as is at a busy intersection.  

Seriously, the media is a joke.  There is a memorial for this kid at mill and university.  Go contribute to it.  

valleynative topcommenter


Do the eyewitnesses say he didn't threaten the cops with a box cutter?

When somebody is shooting to save their life from an attack with a deadly weapon, the fact that other people may also be in danger is unfortunate, but acceptable.


@valleynative 1. Yes, many eyewitness accounts state he was  just stumbling around. Some say he was moving away from the cops.  But very few people who claim to be witnesses are agreeing with the official story.

2. We don't even have any proof/pictures/video of an actual weapon

3. Let me know how many police shootings included firing multiple shots into a restaurant at the busiest intersection of town.  

But really, even suggesting that this is the right way to handle a situation like this normalizes it.  It is not normal, it is not positive and it's an obvious sign of police militarization and aggression. I get that you will most likely not understand that.  But your attitude even when asking a question is the part of the problem.


@valleynative OK.  Cool story, so should we find out if there was an immediate threat or just leave it up to the police to tell us?  If we find out there wasn't an immediate threat then what?

valleynative topcommenter

@exiledarizona @valleynative  

The rule is that if shooting is required to stop an immediate threat to your life, the background becomes secondary.  If shooting was justified at all, the location doesn't matter.



@exiledarizona @valleynativeRight.......what is this world coming to ...if everything problem is solved with deadly force..every situation..every problem..every circumstance....If we don t learn to use alternative means to solve our a human species we will not make it..  and that is guaranteed..

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