Florida county mechanic slain by colleague in workplace ‘love triangle,’ sheriff says

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A Florida fleet maintenance worker was shot and killed at work Thursday morning by a colleague angry over an alleged affair the man was having with the shooter’s wife, authorities said.

Damian DeRousha, 43, of Edgewater, is charged with premeditated first-degree murder in the killing of Donald Christopher Geno, 31, also of Edgewater. DeRousha is being held without bail in the Volusia County Jail.

“This wasn’t random,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said Thursday at the crime scene. “This was obviously thought about, and it was carried out.”

Chitwood said deputies went to the Volusia County fleet management facility around 10:35 a.m. Thursday on a report of gunfire. The facility, which is comprised of multiple buildings, is next door to, and just around the corner from, the 911 communications center in Daytona Beach.

County detectives are headquartered 100 yards from the scene of the shooting, making the crime particularly brazen, the sheriff said.

“From what we’re gathering from the witnesses, he was very cool and collected,” Chitwood said. “There were no signs he was under stress or duress.

“He just calmly walked up and, for lack of a better term, executed the employee.”

A witness to the shooting, who knew both men personally, said he saw DeRousha confront and shoot Geno.

“After Donald fell to the ground, Damian stood over him and shot him again,” a charging affidavit states.

The court records indicate that security cameras did not record the shooting itself, but they did show DeRousha enter the building at 10:37 a.m. and exit two minutes later.

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DeRousha, who was found sitting next to his pickup truck in the parking lot, was taken into custody without incident. He allegedly made statements to the deputies in which he admitted to killing Geno.

Geno, who was shot multiple times, was rushed to Halifax Health Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries less than an hour later.

“Everybody involved in this is a county employee,” Chitwood said. “The impetus behind this … is there seems to be some type of a love triangle here between a female employee, her husband and another male.”

Geno, DeRousha and DeRousha’s wife, identified in court documents as Shauna DeRousha, were all assigned to the county’s fleet management department, the sheriff said. Geno and Shauna DeRousha both worked in the fleet management building and Damian DeRousha worked in the building next door.

Chitwood said Damian DeRousha left the building where he worked after telling his supervisor that he needed personal leave time to take care of a “family issue.” He got into his vehicle and drove around the corner to the fleet management building.

“He drove here, got out of his (truck), walked into the garage, confronted the individual about an inappropriate relationship with his wife and fired multiple shots at the victim,” the sheriff said.

Geno, a master mechanic who was working on a county vehicle when Damian DeRousha approached him, was struck by multiple bullets at point-blank range. Shauna DeRousha was apparently not in the building when her husband arrived.

Damian DeRousha then took off his coat, laid down his semiautomatic handgun and walked back out to his truck, where he awaited deputies’ arrival.

Chitwood said the first deputies at the scene happened to be picking up patrol vehicles at the building where DeRousha worked when the gunfire erupted. It was unclear if DeRousha knew they were there when he left to confront Geno.

“We were here within seconds,” the sheriff said.

Watch Sheriff Mike Chitwood talk about the shooting below.

News conference: Fatal shooting 02-04-21

*UPDATE* The shooter charged with first-degree murder in this case is Damian DeRousha, 43 (DOB 1/9/1978), of Edgewater. He’s been booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail with no bond. The victim was Donald Geno, 31, of Edgewater. *** A Volusia County fleet maintenance employee was shot and killed at work Thursday morning when another employee arrived at the facility and opened fire on him. Volusia sheriff’s deputies responded to the facility at 1270 Indian Lake Road, Daytona Beach, shortly after 10:30 a.m. after witnesses reported the shooting. The suspect was taken into custody without incident in the parking lot, and made a statement confessing to the shooting. The victim was shot multiple times. He was rushed to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, but he did not survive his injuries. The investigation is continuing, but indicates the motivating factor in the shooting was a relationship between the victim and the shooter's wife, who is also a county employee. Volusia County is providing grief counseling for affected employees. The identity of the victim and defendant will be released in an upcoming update.

Posted by Volusia Sheriff's Office on Thursday, February 4, 2021

Once he was taken to the nearby Volusia County Sheriff’s Office operations building, DeRousha gave detectives an overview of what took place. According to the affidavit, DeRousha said that it was after he and his wife had left for work that morning that he learned she had been unfaithful.

“He confronted Shauna via text message but was unwilling to go into the details of the conversation with detectives,” the document states.

After confronting his wife via his cellphone, he left the building to confront Geno.

Read the charging affidavit against Damian DeRousha below.

“When he arrived at vehicle maintenance, he confronted Donald and, per his statement, Donald wanted to get ‘argumentative about it,’” an investigator wrote. “Damian then told detectives, ‘I lost my mind,” and (that he) shot Donald.

“He did not know how many times he shot Donald or where he shot him, but after the shooting, he threw the gun near Donald and took his jacket off and went and sat down and waited for law enforcement.”

DeRousha refused to answer any additional questions, the document states. He provided a DNA sample and submitted to a gunshot residue test before being booked into the jail.

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Volusia County officials mobilized its critical incident stress management team in the wake of the shooting, as well as providing emotional support through the county’s employee assistance program.

“Our immediate concern is for the safety and welfare of our employees,” Volusia County Manager George Recktenwald said Thursday in a statement. “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.

“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.”

According to an obituary, Geno enjoyed his job, as well as “coaching football, shooting guns, listening to music, taking his truck out mudding, rooting for the Georgia Bulldogs and tinkering with motors.”

“Donnie loved spending time with his family, especially his nephews, and would do anything for you,” the obituary said. “He was the best brother in the world and loved his parents and his dog.”