AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Two of the four people shot to death Sunday morning in Aurora had sought protection orders against the accused gunman last week.
An arrest warrant has been issued for 21-year-old Joseph Castorena on four counts of first-degree murder. The Aurora Police Department told FOX31 it is “using multiple different investigative tools in order to locate him.”
Family: Gunman waited for victims to get home
The shooting happened at 900 block of Geneva Street According to the police department, a 911 call came from the suspect’s ex-girlfriend, who survived the shooting. Two young children who were inside the home are also safe, police said.
A family member related to three of the victims said Castorena broke into their home and waited with a gun for them to return from a party.
According to Ubaldo Codina, the victims were Jesus Serrano, Jesus’ daughter Mariana Serrano and her husband, Ken Green. Codina is Mariana Serrano’s uncle.
A man who rented an RV on the property was also shot to death when he came outside in the middle of the shooting, according to Codina. A GoFundMe page has identified him as Rodolfo Salgado.
Codina said the ex-girlfriend who survived and her two young nieces — daughters of Mariana Serrano — survived by hiding in a bathroom. The ex-girlfriend and Mariana Serrano are twin sisters.
“The only thing I know is that I want justice. And everyone, please find Joseph Castorena,” said Corina Serrano, mother of Mariana Serrano and the ex-girlfriend who survived.
Castorena’s behavior led to protection orders
In her Oct. 24 application for a protection order, the ex-girlfriend wrote that when she left work on Oct. 22, Castorena was waiting for her when she got to her car.
“I was planning on going home and he didn’t let me…..While being pregnant with my first child he would hit me. Really controlling, harassing all the time, I had to listen to him or he’ll hit. Wouldn’t let me see my family,” she wrote.
Her father, Jesus Serrano, applied for a protection order on the same day, writing his daughter never made it home from work on Oct. 22.
“The next day she showed up around 3 p.m. She was covered in glass and had cuts all over her arms. Joseph had broken her driver’s side window while she was on the driver’s side. He was upset because he didn’t want her to leave his home, but she had to be at work by 4 p.m. Joseph also had a gun on him. He used it to scare her,” the woman’s father wrote.
Jesus Serrano would go on to write, “He harassed me at my own home. He told me that he was going to kill me if we weren’t going to give him his kids. Him and my daughter have two kids together but they don’t have custody of them right now.”
Both temporary restraining orders were granted. with a hearing for permanent protection orders scheduled for Friday, Nov. 4.
The ex-girlfriend’s twin sister who was killed, Mariana Serrano, also applied for a TRO on Oct. 24, but her application was denied because the judge wrote no “imminent danger” existed.
In her application, Mariana Serrano wrote about her twin sister coming home on Oct. 23 covered in glass and cuts.
“She told me that Joseph was waiting for her outside of work and told her that she was going to spend the night at his house. Once she refused, he took out his gun and put it against her and he broke her car window. When he took out a gun on my sister and put it against her waist on her right side. He told her to stay at his house with him and his whole parents and sisters watched and didn’t do anything,” she wrote just days before her death.
“Joseph and my sister have had many incidents that have happened within the past 10 years,” she wrote. “My family and I have been going through all this for three years straight. And we are getting tired of it. He ends up getting arrested and he’s out on bail the next day. I just don’t want him nowhere near my daughters,” she wrote.
Gunman has pending child abuse case
Those daughters will now grow up without their parents, both killed by Castorena, according to Aurora Police. One girl is 9 months old, and the other is nearly 2 years old.
“Even the cops know how many times I’ve called, and my daughter has called. My other daughter, everybody was afraid of him,” Corina Serrano said.
Castorena also has a pending case on charges of child abuse. He was arrested in August 2020 after his then 3-month-old child was brought to Children’s Hospital Colorado with a broken arm. Hospital staff discovered the infant also had skull fractures.
His trial on those counts was to begin last week on Oct. 25. But on Oct. 20, the trial was rescheduled based on a defense motion to continue. It was reset for April 11.