Goleta Man Arrested for Attempted Murder, Possession of ‘Ghost Gun’

Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office Alleges Rafael Castro Jr. Stabbed Man in Torso

Credit: Courtesy Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office

On the morning of Tuesday, May 17, Santa Barbara Sheriff’s detectives arrested 41-year-old Rafael Castro Jr. for attempted murder following a stabbing and extensive search with County Air Support and a K-9 unit.

The crime allegedly occurred near South Kellogg Avenue in Old Town Goleta, where Sheriff’s deputies, fire personnel, and medics responded to a reported stabbing in the area. The adult male victim was stabbed multiple times in the upper torso, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Raquel Zick, and the suspect had reportedly fled the scene.

The victim was transported to the hospital, Zick said, and is expected to recover from his injuries. After air support and K-9 searches in the immediate vicinity came up empty, Sheriff’s detectives investigating the incident were able to identify and locate Castro, who Zick said was “familiar with the victim.”

He was taken into custody on the 100 block of Orange Avenue, and officers were reported to have found an “unserialized ‘ghost’ gun” on his person. Castro was booked at the Main Jail for felony charges of attempted murder, possession of a firearm, and possession of ammunition; he is currently being held on $1 million bail.

According to Santa Barbara Superior Court records, Castro was previously arrested for multiple felony counts of attempted murder in 2007. He was also convicted of battery against a police officer and was placed on a three-year probation term in 2019, which officially ended just over three weeks ago on April 30. 

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