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Motive not yet known in fatal Santa Rosa shooting

  • Santa Rosa Police field evidence technicians Adria Cooper, right, and Kristina Capeheart search for evidence as they investigate a fatal shooting that occurred in the early morning at Redwood Park Apartments in Santa Rosa, California on Tuesday, December 31, 2013. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

Police have arrested a 15-year-old Santa Rosa boy in connection with a Tuesday shooting that left a Santa Rosa man dead.

The suspect, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, was arrested later Tuesday after he was detained at a traffic stop in Petaluma. He is being held at juvenile hall on suspicion of murder, Santa Rosa police said.

Damien Wadell Toney Jr., 20, was shot in the torso and arm outside the Redwood Park Apartments at 2001 Piner Road. Santa Rosa police responded to reports of shots fired at about 2 a.m. and found Toney lying on the ground near a parking area of the apartment complex. He was treated at the scene and then taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital where he died.

Both Toney and the suspect appeared to be attending a party at one of the apartments that included some juveniles and may have had up to 40 people, according to witness statements.

Police believe the dispute started inside at the party and then continued outside.

The suspect is a Santa Rosa resident but did not live at the apartment complex where Toney was fatally shot. He attended a local high school, but police would not say which one. After the shooting, he reportedly fled to the nearby residence of an acquaintance. A firearm believed to have been used in the shooting was recovered.

The police have had contact with the suspect in the past, Sgt. Dave Linscomb said. The youth may be connected to a gang, he added. However, police are still trying to determine what role, if any, such a gang affiliation played in the attack.

(You can reach Staff Writer Kerry Benefield at 526-8671, kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com or on Twitter @benefield. You can reach Staff Writer Jamie Hansen at 521-5205, jamie.hansen@pressdemocrat.com or on Twitter at @jamiehansen.)


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