'Cold blooded' murder leaves father of 6 dead at his daughter's graduation party, family says

Daniela Hurtado Image
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Family seeks justice after dad killed at daughter's graduation party
The victim's family told ABC13 that he was killed at his daughter's graduation party over an argument with his ex's estranged partner.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A heartbroken family wants justice after a father of six was shot and killed last week.

Police and now the family have identified the victim as 35-year-old Adam Tobias.

Last week law enforcement confirmed Philip Arning was arrested and charged in connection to Tobias' murder.

Arning has since bonded out of jail after being accused of shooting and killing a father celebrating his daughter's graduation party. He's scheduled to appear before a judge at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

"My favorite person. He was my favorite person," the victim's daughter, Destiny Tobias, said.

Destiny Tobias was celebrating her high school graduation on Thursday at a home in Santa Cecilia. Her dad Adam Tobias beamed with pride, knowing she accomplished something he wasn't able to. A day of happiness turned into the worst day of her young life.

"She held her dad's lifeless body in her arms, and I'm sure she's never going to get that out of her head," the victim's wife, Neftaly Perez, said. Perez is Destiny's stepmother and Adam Tobias' wife of 16 years.

"I'm not going to be able to see my best friend, my only friend. I'm not going to hear his voice. I'm not going to get his kisses," Perez said.

She has five children with Adam, all young boys who will now have to grow up without their dad.

"He was always there for his kids. No matter what," Perez said.

The father of six was celebrating his daughter's graduation at his exes' home. His wife and boys left for the night, but he stayed back, yearning to spend more time with his little girl on her big day.

"(He said) I want to enjoy every moment with you. You deserve this party, and I'm so proud of you," Destiny Tobias said.

Destiny's mother's estranged partner, Philip Arning, was also at the home at the time.

"He shouldn't have even been at the house. He wasn't supposed to be at my house, and now he's walking free, and my dad's gone forever. And he's walking like nothing ever happened," Destiny Tobias said.

The victim's family said an argument happened about him wanting to stay with his daughter longer, and that's when Arning is accused of coming out from behind a door and shooting him outside of the home.

"Cold-blooded shot him. Cause he didn't even see it coming," Perez said. This hurting family is hoping justice is served as they try to wrap their heads around their new reality.

"I hope it eats you alive what you've done, what you've taken from us. From our family," Perez said about Arning.

She said they're struggling and now are trying to figure out how they'll lay Adam Tobias to rest since they don't have the money for the funeral expenses. A GoFundMe was created to help the victim's family cover the costs.

A benefit will be held Saturday, June 3 at 10 a.m. at 503 McCarty St. until food sells out.

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