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Man Shoots Four, Kills Himself

March 23, 2000

PASADENA, Texas (AP) _ Esly Contreras was talking with her mother and pastor about how to stem the repeated advances from a suitor when the man burst into the church’s office and opened fire, wounding the three and another parishioner before shooting himself in the head.

Oscar Castillo, 32, had been stalking 18-year-old Esly for weeks, her family said. Desperate to stop the come-ons and threats, mother and daughter went to their clergyman Wednesday night, her 15-year-old brother Robert said.

Esly was shot in the neck. Her mother, 38-year-old Angela Contreras, was seriously wounded, along with 43-year-old pastor Carlos Matamoros. Another parishioner, 32-year-old Jose Luis Dones, was grazed by a bullet.

Castillo returned to the parking lot after the attack, stood beside his car and killed himself with a semiautomatic pistol.

Esly was in fair condition. Her mother, wounded in the abdomen, and Matamoros, shot in the chest, were in critical condition.

Castillo regularly donated his landscaping services to the church, said his boss, Camilo Barreda.

Castillo migrated north from Nicaragua years ago and ended up working landscape jobs near Houston. He battled drug addiction, acquaintances said, and eventually embraced Christianity.

Neighbor Michelle Martinez described the Contrerases as a loving, religious family. Angela emigrated from Honduras, divorced and raised her five children by herself.

``As a mother, on a scale of one to 10, she’s a 10,″ Martinez said.

An introspective, artistic young woman, Esly was scheduled to graduate from high school this spring.

``There’s guys here that have crushes on her,″ Martinez said, gesturing toward the nearby apartments. ``She doesn’t give them the time of day. She just focuses on her education.″

The courtyard was deserted Thursday, and Martinez stood crying by her door. Blocks away, in the parking lot outside the locked church, blood stains marked the concrete.

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