Mom of DeSoto County Fair shooting victim speaks out for the first time since teen’s death

Family remembering teen killed at DeSoto County Fair.
Family remembering teen killed at DeSoto County Fair.(WWSB)
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 7:15 PM EST
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ARCADIA, Fla. (WWSB) - As the DeSoto County Fair reopened for the first time since Saturday night’s tragedy, the mother of the shooting victim spoke out for the first time.

“My son will truly be missed by me and my community, and I’m so thankful for everyone who helped me, who is helping me still,” said Stephanie Castro, mom of Daniel Lopez.

Castro is living every parent’s worst nightmare. She was surrounded by her family outside of their home in Arcadia. The 17-year-old was shot and killed in a shooting Saturday night at the DeSoto County Fair.

“He didn’t deserve to be shot, he didn’t deserve for those children to harm him the way they did,” said Castro. “To beat on him before they decided to shoot him was wrong, it wasn’t fair, it wasn’t right.”

Castro says Daniel was a happy kid who was laughing all the time. He loved basketball, fishing and music. She says he had made an impact on everyone he came across.

“My son always had that smile, he’s left that mark on you with everyone he met,” said Castro.

As she grieves, Castro is asking DeSoto County Fair officials to increase security and make changes, so something like this doesn’t happen to anyone else ever again.

“My son was shot there, those kids walked in there with those guns. How did they allow those guns to come in?” said Castro. “Why wasn’t anybody checking?”

Castro is grateful for how the community has come together to help lift up her and her family. Daniel’s killer still remains at large. She is urging anyone who knows anything to come forward.

“If you see that person or you knew that person, say who that person is, because in reality my son needs justice, he needs justice,” said Castro. “I need justice, I need the closure, it’s not fair to me or my children or my son for what we are going through.”

The DeSoto County Fair will have a moment of silence for Daniel Lopez every night for the remainder of the fair.