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Yuba County Sheriff: Smartsville man fatally shot by law enforcement Monday night

Teresa Yinmeng Liu
Staff Writer

A Smartsville man was fatally shot during a standoff with law enforcement officers Monday evening at his residence, according to the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department.

The man has been identified as 30-year-old Brandon E. Barsnick.

According to a news release, at about 9 p.m. Monday, the Yuba County Regional SWAT team responded to a residence on Big Oak Valley Road in Smartsville to assist Nevada County Sheriff’s Office detectives in the service of a search and arrest warrant on a person living at the residence.

Upon arrival, the team reportedly encountered Barsnick outside on the porch of the residence. The man was armed with an assault rifle and a short stand-off ensued.

According to the release, Barsnick was non-compliant with the orders of SWAT members. The man pointed the rifle at team members and was fatally wounded by team members responding to the imminent life-threatening situation.

Department of Justice Investigators are processing the scene, Sutter County District Attorney’s Office investigators are leading the ongoing investigation at the scene.

Nevada County Sheriff’s Office issued a search and arrest warrant after a reported shooting incident that allegedly involved Barsnick Sunday night.

According to Sheriff Keith Royal, sheriff’s deputies responded to a call at 9:41 p.m. Sunday that Barsnick had allegedly fired upon the caller after failing to get information from him regarding Barsnick’s ex-wife and children.

The caller said Barsnick came to the residence in the 13000 block of Hidden Valley Road to inquire about the location of his estranged wife and two children. When asked to leave, Barsnick allegedly pulled out a gun and fired upon the caller, Royal said.

According to the sheriff’s logs, the caller said Barsnick then left in a vehicle headed toward Smartsville. The caller described Barsnick as “crippled from the waist down” and said that Barsnick’s ex-wife had stayed in the residence before with the caller’s sister.

The caller also stated that Barsnick is known to be heavily-armed and “anti law-enforcement.”

It’s not clear at this point what the relationship was between the caller and Barsnick, Royal said.

“Barsnick fired two rounds toward the residence, but did not strike the caller,” said Royal.


Nevada County court records show that a criminal complaint was filed against Barsnick for a November incident in Grass Valley.

Lt. Steve Johnson of the Grass Valley Police Department said the complaint was likely part of the warrant to be served on Barsnick by the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office on Monday.

According to Johnson, an officer from Grass Valley tried to pull Barsnick over at 10:58 p.m. on Nov. 16, after Barsnick failed to stop at a flashing stoplight at an intersection of West Main Street and South Auburn Street.

Instead of obeying the officer, Barsnick drove his red Dodge pickup into the Safeway grocery store parking lot on Neal Street, Johnson said.

“The officer got back into the car and followed the truck,” Johnson said.

After driving around the parking lot, Johnson said, Barsnick then proceeded down Neal Street to Highway 20 and headed west toward Penn Valley.

Johnson said during the chase, the officer spotted a child at the passenger’s side of the truck. The officer believed the child was likely Barsnick’s son.

“In order to not put his son in danger,” said Johnson. “We called off our pursuit of the vehicle.”

The officer identified Barsnick as the driver and issued a complaint to the district attorney’s office to file charges against him, Johnson said.

He was charged with evading a peace officer, willful disregard; assault upon a peace officer or firefighter; and child endangerment.

Contact Staff Writer Teresa Yinmeng Liu at tliu@theunion.com or 530-477-4236.

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