A Parsons man shot his estranged wife’s boyfriend Sunday night before turning the gun on his 7-year-old daughter and then himself.
He left a rambling post on his Facebook page explaining his motives. That post has since been removed.
Parsons police were called at 10:42 p.m. Sunday when someone heard gunshots in the 1700 block of Chess, near the intersection with 18th Street. Police Chief Robert Spinks said the shooting occurred in the street as Joshua Bode was facing or traveling one way on Chess and Zachary Castorena was traveling the other way and fired gunshots at Bode’s car. Bode and his girlfriend, Victoria Castorena, were preparing to go to work. She may have been in a separate vehicle.
Bode received two gunshot wounds to the face from a handgun. He was taken by ambulance to Labette Health and transferred by helicopter to the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas. Bode was still critical, Spinks said, though that information was not current.
Officers were searching for Zachary Castorena and his white pickup when Castorena called the police dispatcher at 10:49 p.m. Sunday. Castorena was threatening suicide and stated that he would also kill his daughter, identified in social media posts as Lizzy.
Police believed that Castorena was in his home at 3100 Corning and his daughter was possibly with him. Police arrived there at 10:50 p.m. and established a perimeter and attempted to communicate with Castorena on the loudspeaker. The Labette County Sheriff’s Department assisted with the perimeter and to enter the house.
Spinks said the dispatcher attempted to keep Castorena on the phone and negotiate with him. Spinks said the dispatcher hoped that the officers would arrive and be able to take over speaking with Castorena.
“The officers … were never able to actually reestablish contact with him directly at the scene,” Spinks said.
Officers used a public address system on a patrol car to attempt to speak to Castorena. He never answered his phone or responded to officers. At 11:07 p.m., 17 minutes after arriving, officers were concerned for the child’s safety and two officers broke into the home. They found Zachary Castorena dead from a gunshot wound and the child had a gunshot wound to the head.
Spinks said officers had some evidence of a pulse and breathing from the girl, so one officer scooped her up and drove her to Labette Health.
“We knew that one of the ambulances was already out of service with the first shooting victim. They made an emergency life run direction with the police car to the ER,” Spinks said.
Spinks said the critically wounded child was flown to a hospital in Springfield, Missouri, where she died at 3:18 a.m. Monday.
The chief said Zachary Castorena and Bode had a disagreement or some interaction in the day or days preceding the shooting. He didn’t have more specific information.
In Zachary Castorena’s Facebook page post he indicated his world had been upside down for some time and that he experienced “murderous” thoughts every day. He wrote that he shot Bode and returned home to kill himself and to take his daughter with him because he didn’t want another man raising his child. Castorena wanted his last paycheck to go to a family member to pay for his guns.
Spinks said Labette Center for Mental Health Services and police chaplain Steve Schultze responded to provide support and crisis counselors were being organized for schools on Monday.
Family reported on social media that Bode was attempting communication Monday and that he faces more surgeries.