Tuesday, June 28, 2022
June 28, 2022

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Vancouver man gets 13 months after bringing rifle into building

He threatened mental health provider

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A Vancouver man was sentenced Wednesday to 13 months in prison for bringing a stolen, unloaded rifle into a Salmon Creek medical building in April and reportedly threatening a mental health provider.

In an agreement with prosecutors, Gregory Castro, 39, pleaded guilty in Clark County Superior Court on Wednesday to second-degree assault, first-degree theft and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. In exchange, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jeff McCarty dismissed charges of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and theft of a firearm.

Castro apologized Wednesday for his actions during a hearing in front of Judge Daniel Stahnke.

“I put myself and others in a dark and dangerous situation,” he said.

Castro, who said he has bipolar disorder, initially pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the charges. However, after the results of a mental health evaluation, his attorney, Neil Anderson, concluded he did not have enough evidence to support that defense.

Castro was found not guilty of a robbery by reason of insanity in 2000, Anderson said.

Mental health professionals at Western State Hospital also found that Castro was competent to stand trial, which means he’s able to assist in his own defense. A person can have a mental illness and still be found competent.

Castro brought the rifle at about 10 a.m. April 28 to the Associates for Psychiatric & Mental Health clinic because he wanted to get answers from his mental health provider about whether the FBI had been following him, according to court records.

“He did bring it with the intention of scaring the victim and, in the process, terrified multiple people who were present,” McCarty said.

The mental health provider was able to convince Castro to put down his weapon, McCarty said.

The clinic is on the third floor of the University Plaza medical building, 14508 N.E. 20th Ave., but the entire building was evacuated during the incident.

A crisis negotiator persuaded Castro to surrender to a Clark County sheriff’s deputy. No shots were fired, and no injuries were reported.

“I think you know how bad it could have been,” Stahnke said.

Castro later told sheriff’s investigators that he felt his mental health had deteriorated recently and he had become paranoid that the FBI was following him, according to court records.

He has been in the Clark County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail since his arrest.

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