Police describe how young shooter was charged with murder, killing of Christopher Castillo outside the South Plains Mall

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Image of Jake Canales from Lubbock Co. Detention Center. Image of shooting scene from Nexstar/Staff

LUBBOCK, Texas — An updated arrest warrant against Jake Zachariah Canales, 17, released on Friday morning revealed new information as to how police were able to charge him with murder for the shooting death of Christopher Castillo, 18, in the parking lot of the South Plains Mall.

Police were called to the mall on the evening of May 4 for shots fired. They found Castillo with a gunshot wound to the chest near an outdoor carnival in the mall parking lot.

Police talked to witnesses which led them to Canales who talked with officers at Monterey High School. Canales told police Castillo stole $250 from him and he believed Castillo would steal from him again. Canales said he “heard” a gunshot, and saw Castillo fall down.

Initially, Canales was only charged and arrested on May 6 for theft of a firearm. He was named as a “person of interest” at the time but not charged with murder until Thursday (June 24).

On May 6, a juvenile witness told police that Canales admitted shooting Castillo “adding that he should have shot at the ground.”

A portion of the arrest warrant for murder said:

On 06/04/2021, a sworn statement, as taken from a juvenile witness who stated they spoke with JAKE ZACHARIAH CANALES about an hour after the shooting. I was told that JAKE ZACHARIAH CANALES told the juvenile that he did not mean to shoot Christopher. JAKE ZACHARIAH CANALES told the juvenile Christopher had grabbed him from the back. The juvenile asked JAKE ZACHIARIAH CANALES how he shot him in the chest and JAKE ZACHARIA CANALES would only say that it was an accident.

It was not clear from the warrant if the May 6 witness and the June 4 witness were different people or the same person.

Canales remained in the Lubbock County Detention Center as of Friday morning on bonds totaling $650,000.

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