Athens, GA (May 24, 2021) – On Sunday, May 23, 2021, at approximately 11:04 a.m., the GBI was requested by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department (ACCPD) to investigate an officer involved shooting.

Preliminary information indicates that at approximately 10:40 a.m., ACCPD officers responded to multiple 911 calls about a man with a gun at Walker Park (200 Trail Creek Street in Athens). Responding ACCPD officers were advised that a man, later identified as Juan Joseph Daniele Castellano, age 38, of Athens, had carjacked a person at gunpoint inside Walker Park. Officers located the stolen vehicle. Castellano got out of the vehicle with a long gun and began shouting demands at officers. Officers gave numerous commands to surrender. Castellano refused to comply.  During the incident, shots were fired. Castellano was shot and died on scene.

No officers or civilians were injured in the incident.

An autopsy will be performed at the GBI Crime Lab.

The investigation indicates that Castellano is a suspect of a carjacking just prior to this incident. He is also suspected of an armed robbery that occurred minutes before the carjacking. Additionally, he is suspected to have threatened several park attendees, including children, with a firearm.

The GBI continues to investigate this incident. Once the investigation is completed, it will be provided to the Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney for review.


Special Agent in Charge Jesse Maddox