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Community shocked by shooting
Authorities still seek weapons, information
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Forsyth County News
If you have information

Anyone with information about the weapons or other evidence involved in the recent armed robberies and fatal shooting may call the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Crime Stoppers tip line at (770) 888-7308. Callers may remain anonymous.
Like many Forsyth County residents, Paulette Grant was shocked by a fatal shooting that happened early last week at a local grocery store.

“We’re just used to living in a town where everybody trusts everybody and nobody would hurt you like that,” Grant said. “Especially somebody that worked with you, because people that work with you are your friends.”

David Casto, a 37-year-old security guard from Winder, was killed Sept. 5 after three suspects came into the Ingles on Canton Road where he and two employees were working.

The store closes at 11 p.m. and was not open at the time.

Tyrice Kendall Adside, 18, Nakitta Holmes, 19, and a 16-year-old boy entered the store through a back door left unlocked for them by 18-year-old Sharod Johnson, authorities said. Johnson had been a cashier at the store for about six months.

Johnson, a Forsyth County resident, reportedly told authorities that the other suspects had instructed him to lure Casto and a female employee to the back of the store.

Adside is also from Forsyth County, while Holmes and the youngest teen are from Buford. Within 24 hours of the shooting, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office had arrested all four teenagers and charged each of them with armed robbery and murder in connection with the incident.

Sheriff Ted Paxton has said Holmes shot Casto in a “cold-blooded, sadistic, execution killing.”

Johnson’s and the female employee’s hands were bound with duct tape when Adside and the 16-year-old took them to the store’s office. Holmes and Casto were left in the cooler.

Paxton said Casto was disarmed, his hands were bound and eyes were covered with duct tape, and he was sitting when he was shot in the head, apparently with his own gun. The suspects took Casto’s bullet-proof vest and 9 mm pistol, Paxton said.

A Forsyth County Magistrate denied bond last week for all four suspects.

The sheriff’s office has offered a $2,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of weapons and other evidence used in connection with the Ingles incident.

A fund has been set up at United Community Bank to help Casto’s family. Donations may be made at any location in the name of his mother, Shirley Burton. Casto’s funeral was scheduled for Saturday in Winder.

Grant said she knew Casto from the store.

“If there was any way he could help you he would,” she said. “He was such a nice person. He helped me so many times when I went in Ingles and I’ve heard some more elderly people say that, how helpful he was to them, so it was just so sad that they [killed] somebody that was so good to everyone like that.”

Grant, who owns a downtown Cumming restaurant, said the shooting was the topic of her customers’ conversations for a couple of days last week. She characterized the incident as “very unusual and very scary.”

“Everybody was saying they couldn’t believe something that drastic would happen in a small town,” she said.

Authorities think the suspects were involved in a string of armed robberies at businesses in the area in August.

The sheriff’s office on Tuesday arrested 18-year-old Darren Slayton, also of Forsyth County. He was charged with two counts of armed robbery in connection with the Aug. 26 holdup of a Chevron station at Hwy. 20 and James Burgess Road.

One or all four of those arrested for the Sept. 5 shooting are thought to have participated in the late August incident, as well as an Aug. 25 armed robbery at a local Waffle House and two armed robberies in neighboring Gwinnett County.

Like authorities, Forsyth County resident Bill Bennett said the August incidents had him concerned that things could get worse.

“There was some talk that things were going to get more dangerous and maybe they were going to kill somebody, and lo and behold just a few days later that’s exactly what happened,” Bennett said.

The lifelong county resident commended the sheriff’s office for quickly arresting the suspects.

“A lot of good detective work went into that and I’m glad they took them off the street,” Bennett said.

Bennett said his father was sheriff in the late 1950s and early 1960s, a time when incidents like the one at Ingles were unheard of in Forsyth.

“We didn’t have anything like that going on then,” Bennett said. “Not just because he was sheriff but because the county was completely different then.”

He said he was “flabbergasted” by how young the suspects are and said the shooting itself was “unbelievable.”

Paxton said he doesn’t think the incident was a sign of the times nor does he expect another similar incident to occur anytime soon.

“I certainly don’t think it’s anything that we could say was, in other words, a turning point for the county that we can start expecting more crimes like this occurring,” Paxton said. “I don’t think we can say that and I wouldn’t because I think it goes back to these individuals right here. It’s all we can chalk it up to.”

He said he understands the shock felt by the community, not only because of what happened, but also because some of those involved were local.

“I think we’ve got to keep it within the scope of what it is and it was an individual choice solely by those individuals,” Paxton said. “I think we’re not going to see any more of it because we’ve got them in jail. They’re not going to be out here able to do it anymore.”

The sheriff has not ruled out additional arrests, but said authorities think they have all the robbery participants in custody.

Authorities have said that Adside, Johnson and Slayton, who all graduated in 2010, likely became acquainted in high school. Their connection to Holmes and the 16-year-old is not clear.