Escobar was shot in Medelln, and the common belief is that his death was due to his own goal in the 1994 FIFA World Cup against the United States two weeks earlier, which supposedly had caused gambling losses to several powerful drug lords of the time. However, many, including personal friends, teammates, and former coach Francisco Maturana, believe that his death had more to do with the general climate of lawlessness within Colombia at the time, and that the own goal played only an incidental role.
Humberto Castro Muoz, a bodyguard for members of a powerful Colombian cartel, confessed to the murder and was sentenced to 43 years, but let out after approximately 11 for good behavior. Muoz was also the driver for Peter David and Juan Santiago Gallon Henao, and one version of the story claims they bet heavily on the team and were upset at having lost.
On July 2, only one week after Colombia’s exit, Andres Escobar was murdered outside a club in Medellin. The details of the crime remain unclear. Witnesses reported that several men confronted Escobar as he was leaving the club. Twelve shots were fired; six of them struck Escobar. Pamela Cascardo, his fiance, stated that after every shot, the murderer yelled “Gooooal!”, mimicking South American sports commentators distinct call. Other witnesses state that the shooter yelled “Thanks for the own-goal, you son of a bitch.” Escobar was pronounced dead at a hospital just before 4 am.
Despite the rumors, the man charged with the murder, Humberto Munoz Castro, denied that the killing was related to soccer. He claims that he shot Escobar to defend his employer, Santiago Gallon Henao. Castro claimed that not only did he not watch the World Cup match against the U.S., he did not even know what an “own goal” was. Several days after the murder, Castro and Henao were arrested. Only Castro was charged with Escobar’s murder. During the trial Castro’s explanation for shooting Escobar changed repeatedly. Originally, he claimed that he “didn’t know” that it was Escobar. He repeatedly stated that he was drunk when he confronted Escobar, and that the murder was not premeditated. Later in the same trial, Castro stated that he had been ordered by Henao to shoot Escobar.