Two dead, one arrested, after Palm Desert shooting

PALM DESERT — Two people were killed and a man was arrested after a double fatal shooting in Palm Desert yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, Sept. 11. The deadly incident happened inside the normally quiet gated community of Desert Breezes on the 43000 block of West Calle Las Brisas, near the intersection of Fred Waring Dr. and Washington St.


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Deputies from Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station responded to a call of shots fired at a residence shortly before 2 p.m., Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Ken Thurm has since reported.

Deputies arrived within minutes of the dispatched call and detained a man, later identified as 32-year-old, Frank Scott Castro III, outside one of the residences inside the community.

“Upon checking the inside of the residence, deputies located two deceased adults,” Thurm explained. 

Deputies secured the crime scene, at which time Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit and Palm Desert Station investigators responded to the scene and assumed the investigation. They were assisted by technicians from the department’s Forensic Service Unit, coroner’s personnel and other officials.

Witnesses and area residents later reported hearing screaming coming from the area just before the deadly shots rang out. They described the occupants of the home as an elderly couple.

 Based on their investigation, Castro was arrested and eventually booked into county jail on suspicion of two counts of second-degree murder. Jail records indicate he remains in custody and is being held without bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned at Indio Larson Justice Center, Sept. 13.

No other suspects are being sought in this shooting and the sheriff’s investigation is ongoing, according to Thurman.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Central Homicide Investigator Gonzales at (951) 955-2777, or Palm Desert Station Investigator Bazanos at (760) 836-1600. Callers can refer to incident file number T192540112 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s Homicide Tipline online form.

Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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