A Daytona Beach man died following an armed robbery and attempted kidnapping Wednesday morning, according to Daytona Beach and Port Orange Police. In a report on the department website, Daytona Beach Police say 22-year old Luke Castello “…was pronounced deceased in Port Orange a couple hours…” after the incident was reported in Daytona Beach. Port Orange Assistant Police Chief Wayne M. Miller, in a news release, adds that Castello “…brandished a firearm [late Wednesday morning as Port Orange officers approached him in a vehicle] and several Port Orange officers shot at the suspect.” Here is how the chain of events leading to the shooting unfolded.
Daytona Beach Police reported that a man and woman at the Heritage Inn on South Ridgewood Avenue said Castello robbed them at gunpoint around 9:13 Wednesday morning and made them tie themselves up with flex ties. The man said he was able to run from the scene though as they were walking to a van also at gunpoint. The woman said she escaped from the van while Castello returned to the motel room. The man, with his hands still tied, went to the motel Front Desk for help and police were called. Daytona Beach Police say the man and woman were also robbed of one-thousand dollars in cash, a Coach purse, as well as the woman’s driver’s license, Social Security Card and cell phone.
Daytona Beach Police say Castello left the motel and drove the van, which belonged to the women’s father, south on Ridgewood Avenue. Daytona Beach Police broadcast details about the van to other units and agencies, also noting that Castello was said to be armed with three guns. Assistant Port Orange Police Chief Wayne M. Miller says Port Orange officers spotted Castello near Spruce Creek and Taylor Road around 10:45 a.m. and followed him to the Wal-Mart parking lot off Clyde Morris Boulevard. However, as officers conducted a felony traffic stop on Castello's vehicle, Castello drove back onto Clyde Morris, and onto westbound Dunlawton Avenue. Port Orange Police pursued Castello as he took I-95 northbound at the Dunlawton Avenue exit. Assistant Chief Miller says Castello was “…driving recklessly [and] lost control of his vehicle…” crashing off the right shoulder of I-95 about one mile north of the Dunlawton Avenue exit. Assistant Chief Miller says Port Orange Police officers approached the van on foot and Castello, “…brandished a firearm and several Port Orange officers shot at the suspect.” Castello was pronounced dead at the scene afterwards. Police also confirmed that Castello was the only person in the van.
Assistant Chief Miller says six Port Orange Police officers were involved in the confrontation. None of the officers was injured, but they have been placed on administrative leave, which is customary in officer-involved shootings. The shooting is also being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
The incident closed I-95 northbound at the Dunlawton Avenue exit from around 11:30 Wednesday morning, until around 1:30 Wednesday afternoon when a single lane was re-opened. Both northbound lanes of the interstate were opened around 3:30 Wednesday afternoon, according to Sgt. Kim Montes with the Florida Highway Patrol.
News helicopters flew over the interstate exit in Port Orange late Wednesday morning and into Wednesday afternoon, as Port Orange Police and the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department detoured northbound traffic off of I-95 at the Dunlawton exit, while the accident and shooting investigations continued along I-95. Semi trucks and cars then made their way north on Williamson Boulevard to Beville Road in Daytona Beach where they were able to access the interstate again.
Click here to visit the Daytona Beach Police website.
Click here to visit the Port Orange Police website.
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