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Suspect charged in fatal shooting of Navy sailor in West Allis

Posted at 9:46 AM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-25 10:53:16-04

WEST ALLIS, Wis. — A 36-year-old Milwaukee man has been charged in the fatal shooting of a Navy sailor from Arizona, according to a criminal complaint released Monday.

Derrick L. Williams, 36, faces one count of first-degree intentional homicide, with use of a dangerous weapon.

Phoenix Castanon, 19, was in active military training at Naval Station Great Lakes just across the state line in Illinois. He was killed on May 8 when he had the weekend off and came to Milwaukee to visit his fiance.

According to the criminal complaint, one of Castanon's friends was walking home from a club on S. 89th St. at about 1:30 a.m. that night when she was approached by Williams, who was driving a dark-colored SUV. Prosecutors say Williams pulled over and asked if she wanted to get into his car.

That's when Williams allegedly got out of his car and tried to grab the woman. She started running toward her home, where Castanon and his fiance were parked waiting.

While the woman was running home, Castanon and his fiance pulled up in their SUV. The complaint says Williams and Castanon argued, and Castanon eventually said "I don't have a gun, don't shoot."

Castanon's fiance told detectives she heard one shot come from Williams' direction before he drove off.

Investigators later interviewed Williams' mother, who said that Williams called her "crying and telling her that he had accidentally shot someone."

Williams told investigators that he did not shoot anyone, and did not remember what he did the weekend of May 8.

He faces life in prison if convicted.

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