McLouth youth killed during Spanish Club trip to Costa Rica

Justin Johnston

Family, friends and fellow students crowded into the McLouth United Methodist Church June 2 for a memorial service for Justin Johnston. Photo used by permission from The Kansas City Star

A 16-year-old McLouth High School student was shot and killed at a Costa Rican hotel early June 2 by a security guard.

According to published reports, the security guard mistook the youth for a thief.

Sophomore Justin Johnston was shot in the chest before dawn Thursday at the La Cangreja Lodge hotel in the city of La Fortuna de San Carlos.

The security guard, who was identified as a 34-year-old man by the last name of Guevara, has been detained and charged with manslaughter.

Justin Johnston

Justin Johnston

Police reported the students had been sent to bed at 10 p.m. Wednesday but a group left their rooms and went to another building on the premises. They were returning to their rooms before dawn Thursday through a desolate area when the security guard spotted them.

The students were on a nine-day trip to the Central American nation with a dozen other students in the school’s Spanish club.



File Video from November 2010: McLouth Spanish Club raises money for trip

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