Victims of Shooting in Hydesville Speak Out (Videos/Photo)
On Friday night, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department received a report of shots fired in Hydesville. They responded to the scene and found a suspect, Eric Lee Barber, barricaded in his residence. SWAT was called, eventually made entry into the residence, and arrested the suspect. A neighbor, Dustin Wallan-Smith and his sister, Cassandra Overson, walked us through what led up to the incident.
“We have had incidents with the guy for quite some time,” Wallan-Smith who is in his early twenties told us.
“He shot my dog,” Wallan-Smith alleges. Though the report on the scanner last night led us to mistakenly believe that the shooting happened last night; it actually occurred January 10, 2016.
Wallan-Smith said that he didn’t see the incident occur. The dog though was shot in a vacant lot next to his home. “I heard the noise and her yelp,” he said. Because he knew Barber had a pellet gun, he believed his neighbor was the shooter.
About four months ago, Wallan-Smith states that a dispute over access through a vacant lot (the same place his dog was shot) led Barber to slap a friend who was helping him. See video below provided by Wallan-Smith.
According to Wallan-Smith, the owner of the empty lot allows his family to go on the lot and Barber, another neighbor doesn’t like when they come through an area near his home to access the lot.
But, last night, he said, was the worst it has been. Cassandra Overson, his sister who was visiting agreed. According to both of them, another of his sisters went to the door to let dogs out. Overson said she came back upset saying, “I can’t let the dogs out. The neighbor is shooting and it’s hitting the fence.”
Both Overson and Wallan-Smith said they could hear what they believe were pellets striking the fence.
Overson said she yelled, “You need to stop now!” But the shooter didn’t stop. “It got worse,” she said. “He started shooting more and closer to the house.”
Wallan-Smith said, “It is a pretty high powered pellet gun.”
Overson called 911. She explained, “He was shooting as I was on the phone with the dispatch lady.”
They turned off the inside lights to the house so the shooter couldn’t see and target them.
Wallan-Smith said a pellet “ricochetted off the fence and hit the post supporting the porch awning not three feet from where we were standing.” See video below.
Overson said the situation was frightening. “He probably shot 30 or 40 times,” she said. “He could have hurt one of us seriously.”
Barber was arrested early this morning and taken to “the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for PC 245(a)(4)- Assault by Force, likely to cause Great Bodily Injury, PC 246.3 Discharge a Firearm in Negligent Manner, and PC 148(a) 1- Obstruct/Resisting a Public Officer.”
Overson said after Barber was arrested, law enforcement asked for copies of the video she took above.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department asks anyone with information to call them at 707-445-7251 or call the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.
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