HOUSTON - The road rage shooting death of 17-year-old David Castro after he left an Astros game with his family left Houstonians heartbroken. Now the man who police say murdered the teen is behind bars. In an exclusive interview, FOX 26 Reporter Damali Keith spoke with murder suspect Gerald Williams, 34, before he was taken into custody at Houston Police Department Headquarters in Downtown Houston.
Williams was charged with murder last Wednesday and turned himself in to Houston police Monday, August 2, 2021, just before noon. A swarm of officers and even the Police Chief himself were waiting for him. When I spoke with Williams he told me "That night I was at a party".
According to Williams, on July 6, 2021, after the Castro family left the Astros game and someone with road rage opened fire into their pickup truck killing 17-year-old David, Williams says he was nowhere near there.
"I have multiple witnesses, multiple people saying where I was and I couldn’t be at two places at two times," Williams says.
It’s the same story Williams told police but HPD investigators say cell phone records put him exactly where the shooting happened and according to the police report Williams went to a friend’s apartment near the murder around midnight that night. The report goes on to say Williams later told that friend he "messed up" after someone hit his car and gave him the finger.
Information about the vehicles possibly colliding had not previously been released publicly.
"Whatever happened before then it didn’t justify him shooting into a vehicle and killing an innocent kid," says Houston Police Chief Troy Finner.
"I understand there were a great number of tips that came in and that came in because y’all were touched by this story and you could see your own children in my son. So I thank you for doing that," says David’s dad Paul Castro. Investigators say it was those tips that led them to Williams.
Remember the video of the white Buick caught on camera the night of the murder? Police say Williams bought the Buick on OfferUp back in May and they say the car was found burned near William's southeast Houston home two weeks after the shooting.
"How he’s being charged in this is a shock to him and a surprise because he feels like he has a rock-solid alibi. Because you have association with a vehicle does not necessarily mean that you are the shooter that caused someone’s death. He maintains his innocence. He says he did not commit this crime. Some of us in our community we share vehicles. We let family and friends use the vehicle because everybody don’t have a vehicle. We don’t know the circumstances surrounding that car. Because he’s the owner of the vehicle doesn’t necessarily make him the perpetrator of the crime that took place in it," says Community Activist Quanell X.
"The only word that comes to mind is unimaginable. There are no words in the English language, nor should there be to describe the pain that we’re going through right now," says Mr. Castro.
"It’s painful for his family to have to go through this but it’s painful for this family also because they believe he’s innocent and that he did not commit this crime," Quanell adds. The community activist was with Williams as he turned himself in and so were Williams’ parents who watched as he was taken away in handcuffs.
"Prayers were answered today. Our family's been praying for the safe arrest of the suspect. I ask for continued prayers for our family especially David’s mom, his brother and sister and his grandparents who are really hurting right now," says Mr. Castro.
In 2008 Gerald Williams was convicted of Aggravated Robbery with a Deadly Weapon.
Even with what seems like a mountain of evidence against him Williams says, "I cooperated with them and the minute I stopped cooperating with them they want to charge me".
"The city of Houston came together on this. We’ve had more tips than we’ve seen in a long time," says HPD Detective Justin Brown.
"We will not stand by and allow people to brutally murder and harm our citizens and do nothing about it. All around the nation there’s a rise in violent crime and it just speaks to we have to come closer together and watch out for one another. As the criminal justice system gets (back to normal) and we get these trials moving like some of them are, you’re going to see a better and safer Houston and Harris County. I want my officers to keep charging. I want our citizens to keep bringing in information and we will get those individuals off the street. Let’s make sure we’re all working together to get those individuals off our streets and I’m celebrating that today," says Chief Finner.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner released the following statement:
"I thank Police Chief Finner, HPD investigators, and the community for the collaboration that led to the surrender and arrest of the suspect. The constant flow of eyewitness tips, information about the vehicle, and the suspect’s description kept this crime front and center for several weeks. The arrest will not bring back 17-year-old David Castro, but I hope and pray that it brings comfort to his grieving family as they take a step toward justice and healing. This case is a tragic reminder that guns, road rage, and reckless behavior have deadly consequences. The shooting was senseless and indefensible, and we must work together to ensure that an incident like this never happens again in our City."
Late Monday evening, a probable case court granted Gerald Williams bond of $350,000.