Spectator shot, killed at North Georgia soccer game

Published On: Jun 17 2013 09:53:53 AM EDT
Updated On: Jun 17 2013 10:11:01 AM EDT

Hall County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Saul Merdez Castillo

GAINESVILLE, Ga. -

Authorities say a spectator at a recreational soccer game was shot to death in a Hall County park, and the gunman was caught trying to leave the park.

The 46-year-old was shot repeatedly at close range around 5 p.m. Sunday at Tadmore Park, about five miles southeast of Gainesville, Ga.

The spectator and the gunman were both watching the game when they had some type of confrontation, Hall County sheriff's officials said in a statement. One of the men "quickly produced a handgun" and fired multiple times, sheriff's officials told The Times of Gainesville.

The park was crowded with people at the time and the shooting took place in front of other spectators, but no one else was injured, Hall County sheriff's Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks said.

The suspect, later identified as 41-year-old Saul Castillo (pictured, right), tried to leave the area but was stopped by two Hall County marshals who were working security, Wilbanks said.

"There's only one way in and one way out, and the (shooter) was running toward (the marshals) and they took him into custody at gunpoint," Wilbanks said.

Castillo was arrested and charged with murder and possession of a gun during the commission of a crime, according to a news release Monday morning from the Hall County Sheriff’s Office. He also has an immigration hold since he is not a legal resident.

The 46-year-old victim’s name was being withheld “to allow family to notify next-of-kin, who are out of the country,” according to the Sheriff's Office.

Authorities determined that the suspect and the victim knew each other.

"There's evidently a history between these two individuals that goes back to El Salvador, the full extent of which we don't know yet," Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks said.

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