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Ormond Beach Observer Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021 7 months ago

Volusia County employee killed in shooting over love triangle, deputies say

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The identity of the deceased employee and the suspect have not yet been released.
by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

A Volusia County fleet maintenance employee was killed on Thursday, Feb. 4, after another employee shot him outside a county building as a result of a love triangle, said Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood during a press briefing.

According to the the sheriff's department, deputies responded to the fleet maintenance facility at 1270 Indian Lake Road shortly after 10:30 a.m. after witnesses reported the shooting. The suspect — identified by Volusia County Government as 43-year-old Damian DeRousha, a special projects coordinator — was waiting by his vehicle for law enforcement to arrive, and was taken into custody without incident after confessing to the shooting. The victim, 31-year-old master mechanic Donald Geno of Edgewater, was shot multiple times and was rushed to the hospital, where he later died.

VCSO reports the motivating factor was a relationship between the Geno and the DeRousha's wife, who also works for the county. DeRousha, a resident of Edgewater, was hired in 2003. Geno was hired in 2016. DeRousha has been charged with first-degree murder and is booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail with no bond.

Damian DeRousha has been charged with first-degree murder and is booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail with no bond. Courtesy photo

It is a "sad situation" that could not be stopped, according to the sheriff. He explained the suspect told his supervisor he had a "family issue to take care of" and that he would be taking personal leave before shooting the victim.

"Somebody made up their mind they were going to commit a murder today, and there's nothing that you could do — there's nothing county government could do, there's nothing law enforcement could do — to stop that," he said.

No one involved had any prior criminal history.

In response to the shooting, Volusia County Government issued a statement saying all employees are "extremely shocked and saddened" by the day's events. 

"While we’re cooperating with the Sheriff’s Office and providing whatever information we can that might be helpful to their investigation, our focus right now is with our employees and all those who’ve been impacted by today’s death," the statement reads. "Accordingly, the county has mobilized our critical incident stress management team as well as additional resources through the county’s employee assistance program to help provide emotional support to our employees."

The statement included a quote from County Manager George Recktenwald, who said the county's immediate concern was the safety and welfare of its employees. 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and his family and loved ones as well as his co-workers and other county employees who are understandably shaken up by the incident," Recktenwald said. "This is a terrible tragedy, and we’re still processing today’s events, supporting our county family at this difficult time and grieving the loss of one of our own."

This story was updated at 5:42 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, to include the identities of the victim and shooter.

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