Painter shot by tenant after being sent to the wrong unit.
Painter Byron Castillo, 48, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, arrived at the Chatham Wood Apartments in High Point on for a job he’d been hired to do by the complex. Little did he know, he was sent to the wrong unit and caught the unsuspecting tenant by surprise. The renter shot Castillo, according to the High Point Police Department.
Authority said Castillo knocked on the door, identified himself as a maintenance worker. When there was no answer, he tried to insert a key that didn’t work. This scared resident Gregory Sims, 28, into thinking someone trying to break in, so he grabbed his gun. Sims told police he could see Castillo pulling on the door handle and using something in his other hand to attempt to unlatch the deadbolt. That’s when he swung open the door himself and shot the painter, striking him once in the chest.
Castillo was rushed t
o the hospital, where he underwent surgery and was placed on a breathing machine. He is still in the intensive care unit in critical but stable condition, steadily improving. Police said they will not seek to prosecute Sims for the misunderstanding.
“The Violent Crimes Unit consulted and presented the case to the Guilford County District Attorney’s Office and prosecution has been declined,” a statement issued by Kenneth Shultz, Chief of Police at the High Point Police Department, read. “Through unfortunate circumstances, Mr. Castillo attempted to gain entry mistakenly into the wrong apartment and Mr. Sims perceived that as a threat and fired his weapon.”
Castillo isn’t the only handyman to get himself into a deadly situation. This month, Ronald “Money” Claude, 36, pleaded guilty to manslaughter after murdering handyman, Wesley Nelson, who suffered from late-stage prostate cancer. Nelson’s relatives asked the court to give Claude the maximum, 40-year sentence.
Claude addressed the court, apologizing and saying, “Please, please find it in your heart to forgive me.”
After showing remorse, he was sentenced to twenty years instead. Three others in the car with Claude at the time were also issued probation. Hakeema Camp, Tatiyana Johnson and Sheldon Williams pleaded guilty to being accessories after the fact.
Nelson’s death occurred during what authorities may have been a drug deal gone wrong. One of the passengers said Claude was angered when Nelson said he would buy marijuana from someone else in the car and shot him in the head, dumping the body on the street. Authorities originally charged Claude for second-degree murder in 2016.
JamieRay Nelson, his older sister, delivered an impact statement at Claude’s sentencing. She said, “I get heart palpitations every time I think about my brother being gone. It’s wrong. He didn’t deserve that. He had stage IV cancer. He wasn’t going to be on this earth very long.”
The judge addressed the family after taking a moment of silence, saying, “I hope that one day in the not too far distant future, your hurt may have resolved. That you can accept and perhaps understand the basis of the sentence that I have given.”