Killed – Damien Toney Jr. (Santa Rosa, CA)


A man was shot and killed early Tuesday in Santa Rosa, police said.

Damien Toney Jr., 20, of Santa Rosa was found on the ground in the parking lot of an apartment complex at 2001 Piner Road about 2 a.m. He had been shot in the chest and arm.

Witnesses testified Monday that a man shot dead outside a Santa Rosa party had been fighting inside with his suspected killer’s cousin just minutes before he was gunned down.

Damien Wadell Toney Jr., 20, was seen choking the cousin, identified in court as Paula Brisco, in the Piner Road apartment early New Year’s Eve, police Detective Andrew Riley said at a preliminary hearing.

The two, who had a child together, apparently got into a fight in front of about 25 other partygoers, Riley said. Toney was kicked out and continued a confrontation with Brisco’s cousin, then 15-year-old Joseph Mario Varela, Riley said.

Varela pulled a gun and shot Toney in the chest, police and other party guests said. Police believe Varela’s friend, Manuel Khiobouakham, 19, also fired on Toney.

After initially denying his role, Varela told police he aimed the gun at Toney just to scare him, Riley said. But he said he ended up shooting Toney when the older man punched him in the chin, he said.

Riley said an autopsy showed Toney was shot twice in the chest with two different guns. The gun Varela is believed to have used, a .45-caliber pistol, was found in a friend’s house, Riley said.

(01-03) 17:54 PST SANTA ROSA — A 15-year-old boy has been charged as an adult with murder in the shooting death of a man outside a Santa Rosa party, prosecutors said Friday.

Joseph Mario Varela was also charged with gun enhancements in the slaying Tuesday of Damien Toney Jr., 20, of Santa Rosa. Varela is beng held without bail at Sonoma County Jail.


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