Port Orange

Man Shot and Killed in Apparent Port Orange Break-In

Victim Allegedly Broke Into Ex-Girlfriend's House


53-year-old Elmer Panameno Zelaya, a resident of Flagler County, was shot to death in Port Orange on Tuesday. Initially all that was known was that the suspect, 40-year-old Edgewater resident Santiago Carlos Hernandez Castrodad, had been arrested and charged with second degree murder. Now, we may know a little more about the nature of the fatal encounter.

According to a report about the shooting, the dispute originated between Zalaya and his ex-girlfriend, one Nicole Collins. She's said to have told law enforcement she told Panameno not to come to her place of residence in Port Orange, but that he'd done so anyway and tried to break in.

During the altercation, Zalaya is said to have picked up a Bluetooth speaker and bashed it over Hernandez Castrodad's head. The fight spilled out into the front yard. Hernandez Castrodad is then said to have shot Zalaya to death. A witness reported six or seven gunshots.

Though the case seems to resemble others where self-defense or defense-of-property are found to legally justify lethal force, there's no indication yet that investigators suspect such circumstances, or that Hernandez Castrodad may soon be released from the Volusia County Branch Jail. He's been in custody on no bond since Wednesday.

Hernandez Castrodad has been booked twice before in Volusia County, one in 2007 without a charge listed online, and one in 2009 for domestic battery.