Celebrating a life cut short, on the day another life was cut short


Four of Aidyn Hansen's friends celebrating what would have been his 11th birthday, at Leeson Park in Beloit, WI, on Saturday, Mar. 16, 2024.

When Ashley Gray heard of the death of Ray Castro on Saturday, Mar. 16, 2024, she knew who he was.

Last Saturday, Ray Castro, 19, fled from South Beloit Police in a car he allegedly stole at knifepoint, beginning a chase that ended with his death minutes later from a police bullet after he rammed a Roscoe Police car and reportedly began firing at them.

On September 15, 2023, while playing with Ashley's son 10 year old son Aidyn Hansen in South Beloit, a 9 year old boy shot and killed Aidyn with a gun that had not been locked up.

The boy was Ray Castro's younger brother.

Prosecutors say the 9 year old boy's parents had left their son alone at their home, along with Aidyn. The boy's father was charged with endangering the life or health of a child and not having a Firearm Owners Identification Card.

Six months and one day later, Ashley Gray was with family and friends at Leeson Park in Beloit, WI, celebrating what would have been her son Aidyn's 11th birthday, which was March 4, 2024. The park had been the location of a vigil on Sept. 17, 2023 in honor of Aidyn, two days after his death. It happened to be the day that Castro died. 

Ashley says the father of Aidyn's alleged shooter has another hearing on May 3, 2024 at Winnebago County 17th Judicial Circuit Court. At this '402 conference,' Judge John Gibbons will hear the facts of the case and can discuss what sentence he might impose if it went to trial. A defendant has the opportunity to plead guilty at that point. Before the hearing date arrives, Ashley is asking for impact statements from former teachers, friends, or family members. 

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