Former defendant seeks damages in police shooting
BARSTOW • A Victorville man has filed a claim with the city of Barstow seeking damages for a Barstow police shooting that he said left him with serious injuries months after the incident.
Eddie Varela, 31, is seeking more than $25,000 in damages from the city to pay for injuries sustained in the March 22 shooting by Barstow Police Officer Andrew Buesa. The claim, filed Sept. 21, is the first step needed to sue the city.
Varela was shot in the leg and the abdomen after the officer said Varela made a sudden movement toward him with a Butcher knife over his head. Shortly after the incident, the District Attorney’s office filed attempted murder and assault charges against him. A judge tossed out the attempted murder charge and prosecutors later dropped the assault, clearing him of any criminal proceedings for the alleged attack on the officer.
The claim states Varela needs a walker to walk and still has bullets in his body. One is located near an artery and is considered by physicians as “life threatening,” while the other is shattered in pieces in his upper leg.
Varela spent about a week in the hospital before being transferred to West Valley Detention Center for his criminal charges. His mother, Sharon Sexson, said she was not able to visit him at the hospital, nor would authorities release any information about his condition, whether he was dead or alive.
“I think that my son was in the wrong place at the wrong time and I feel the officer overreacted,” Varela’s mother Sharon Sexson said at the preliminary hearing.
She did not return calls for comment Thursday.
City officials said they could not comment on the claim because it represents potential litigation.
The District Attorney’s office is still investigating the shooting — a common procedure for use-of-force cases. They have not yet released an opinion on the matter.
As of Thursday, Varela had not filed a case against the city, according to San Bernardino County court records.
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