On Oct. 1, Gus Castilla lost his 28-year-old daughter to a bullet fired from the Mandalay Bay hotel room where Stephen Paddock carried out his unfathomable crimes.
Now the father wants some small measure of justice.
Andrea Castilla, was the Huntington Beach woman who was fatally wounded during Paddock’s indiscriminate killing spree that claimed 58 people and injured over 500 at the conclusion of the three-day Route 91 Harvest festival.
She was there celebrating her 28th birthday with her boyfriend, sister, and her sister’s fiancé.
Copies of the suit filings sent to The Epoch Times by Castilla’s lawyer outline alleged failings of the Mandalay Bay and its parent company MGM Resorts; Live Nation, the concert promoters; and Slide Fire, the company that manufactures the bump stocks that accelerated Paddock’s rate of fire to near automatic speeds.
It also names the builders and retailers of similar bump stock devices.
The suite also names Paddock’s estate, and Contemporary Services Corporation, the company that provided crowd control for the festival.
Castilla is seeking more than $50,000 in general damages and more than $50,000 in economic damages as well as an unspecified amount for other expenses, emotional distress, and “other relief as the Court may deem just and proper.”
The lawsuit alleges that after a preliminary investigation the plaintiffs uncovered several deficiencies among the defendants.
“First of all, it’s inconceivable to us that the perpetrator was capable of transporting what amounts to an actual armory of weapons into the hotel, especially in an era in which shooting incidents and terrorism are front page news on a daily basis,” it begins.
It alleges that if the hotel had conducted proper security checks, Paddock could not have remained undetected with a cache of weapons for three to five days while mounting security cameras.
It also finds fault with security’s inability to stop Paddock in the six-minute gap between when he shot a hotel security guard and began firing on the festivalgoers.
The suit also alleges that Contemporary Services Corporation failed to provide clear exits and public announcements to help the crowd.
“As a result a trampling exodus and absolute chaos ensued. The victims were left trapped for a prolonged period within a deadly kill zone when the lights reappeared after the shooting began,” states the lawsuit.
The suit takes aim at those that make and sell bump stocks like those Paddock used.
The stocks effectively turn semi-automatic rifles into fully automatic machine guns.
The suit alleges the accessory is designed to convert legal weapons into automatic weapons “in intentional violation of the law.”
Within the court filing is a recounting of Andrea Castilla’s final moments.
When the shots first began, Castilla yelled for everyone to “duck” before her sister’s fiancé, Shane Armstrong, laid on top of Andrea and her sister Athena to protect them from bullets.
When they got up to flee, they saw a bullet had hit Andrea in the head.
Athena, her fiancé, and Andrea’s boyfriend tried to get Andrea out of the venue, but could not find an exit so they lifted her over a fence.
Andrea died from her wound.
Andrea’s boyfriend, Derek Miller, told the Los Angeles Times he had taken a custom-made moonstone engagement ring with him to propose in Las Vegas.
“We wanted every single second together. We did more in seven months than most couples get to do in a lifetime,” Miller said.
The suit alleges her death was “foreseeable and thus avoidable” and that those who put on such large public events must do a better job safeguarding them.
“As a result of their failure to do so my client has forever lost his beautiful and intelligent daughter of only 28 years,” it reads.