Victims of Shooting in Hydesville Speak Out (Videos/Photo)


Dog wounded by a pellet gun.

Dog wounded by a pellet gun. [Photo provided by Dustin Wallan-Smith]

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.

Earlier Chapters: 



  • Poor dog. At least nobody else was hurt last night. The guy sounds mentally ill. Thank you law enforcement for responding. It is hard to get a response sometimes on 36.

    • We are supposed to have a Resident Deputy Sheriff here on 36, but getting a timely response is still a problem!!!! He was living in Hydesville when he first got the assignment!!! He said so at the Public Meeting we had here in Bridgeville awhile back like 2 years or more ago!!!

  • Glad the dog wasn’t hurt again. What kind of dog is that? Looks like my little Feist dog.

  • Mr. Barber was lucky. Some people tend to take it personal when being shot at, myself included.

  • The firearms charge won’t stick due to the fact that he shot a projectile that was propelled by air, not a true firearm.

    • It’s legally considered a firearm in California.

      • Wrong!! Check your laws it’s not classified as a firearm.

      • It’s not a firearm, but can be considered a dangerous weapon, much like a bow and arrow. There will be different charges when the DA decides but a dangerous weapon enhancement is possible.


        I made a rubber-Band gun and shot it at employees for fun years ago… At WHAT point does the ridicule become ridiculous? u? Seriously! A pellet gun=Swat team?? O I hope we never get invaded by another country. Like I said before We are turning into Europe.

        • Law enforcement only knew it was an active shooter situation and responded according. The standoff ended with no one injured. It’s the best ending you could hope for. That said, today’s pellet guns aren’t like the BB guns of yesteryear. The pellets are almost .22 in caliber and just under supersonic in velocity. Like broadheads from a 70 lb bow, they aren’t firearms but definitely dangerous in the wrong hands.


            I fully agree with your comment; However after following this stream and realizing I have seen this guy around town I don’t believe he is that kind of threat. I was commenting more on how militant the situation became. AND as far as pellet guns most known are .177 pump that are non-life threatening unless you shoot into the eyeball of the target so I am told. ( At close range). I was wondering more about the reporting party did lea find pellet holes in their porch? I see pics of a cute dog but the world has turned to pot and drugs so who knows the real story anymore…

            • They make 38cal pellet guns you can hunt bigger game with now, I think I saw an article where a guy killed a grizzly, obviously not what this yo-yo used but just so you know. Also do you see the hole in the dogs shoulder?

            • Sounds like border line “swatting” whoever reported this guy wanted to make sure law enforcement showed up by over exaggerating the situation and caused alot of grief for hydesville , the caller needs to think before they start lying about the situation and causing people to panic over nothing, selfish people

              • I guess you don’t know his criminal history. He has a long history of violence and drug charges. He also has a history of attacking family members. Very vilolent. Has spent most of his adult life, in and out of prison

            • My pal has a 50 cal air gun. It will kill any land animal on the planet. And he purchased it on line, no background check. And he is a person prohibited from owning firearms.
              Please rethink your idea of what constitutes a “deadly weapon”.

            • Lost Croat Outburst

              Dude, did you see the nasty shoulder wound on that poor dog? How would you like that? If the pellet had hit his head or eye . . . . . .not very good. You admit that a shot in the eye could be fatal. It also be could be agonizing and BLINDING.

              I concede the airgun is not a firearm, but nobody has the right to threaten or terrorize people with any tool at their disposal. A car can be a dangerous weapon if you intentionally run people over.

              I do not want to see Humboldt become Tehama County where some creep terrorizes a community for years while the Sheriff or city police do nothing until it’s too late. Nobody can be allowed to threaten the public with loaded or unloaded weapons, realistic replicas, air guns, archery, spears, anything.

  • If their dogs killing livestock. You have a right to shoot them dead. If they’re chasing deer or other animals you have to call fishing game and they will shoot the dog. Keep your dogs on your own property and everything will be fine

  • Glad I wasn’t his neighbor, i can’t tell the difference between a pellet gun and an evil assault rifle, he would be dead.

  • Pellet gun or other. If you are shooting at me and I have a reasonable belief that my life is in danger, as in you are firing a weapon at me, I shoot you. A .177 pellet can kill if you are hit in the right spot.

  • Wish he could also be charged with animal cruelty.

    • A lot of assumptions there.

      • The 🐐 G.O.A.T.

        How about collecting the projectiles from the two incidents. Then comparing the rifling marks (pellet guns have these) and other features of the projectiles. If they match, and there is witness testimony that the animal was “wounded” as defined in PC597, then it seems there would be grounds for an arrest of the person who owns that gun.

  • We need to limit the number of BBs that a daisy Red Ryder can hold, before these guns get out of control or into the wrong hands, and anyone can buy one with no waiting period

  • This guys seems like a kook and I’m happy no one was injured, however the charge of discharging a firearm in a negligent manner is illegal and will not stick. A pellet rifle is not a firearm according to the ATF. Perhaps wreckless endangerment would have been a more educated charge.

  • These kids being shot at certainly knew this man was firing a pellet gun. These kids obviously did not tell the 911 operator this detal or the shelter in place call definitely would not have gone out. They swatted this guy. You can’t call the sheriff with half truth stories to get the outcome you desire because that’s a felony. These kids not telling the police what was actually happening “pellet gun fire” disrupted the whole community and completely wasted the swat teams time.

  • so a group of kids come out and make problems for a neighbor , has been happening for sometime neighbor gets upset starts plinking with a pellet rifle , kids get scared call 911 and create this mess. i recall these kids commenting on the post when it was going down. they made every effort to play it up and at no time mentioned in their comments that it was pettets and not bullets. something smells pretty fishy

    • Reasonable person

      Actually it was an adult that had call 911 and these kids never instigated anything. This guy gets drunk and does this shit all the time. I live next door and have experience many problems with this guy. He’s had problems before with law enforcement and this is not the only time they have been at this residents. They did the right thing [edit]

  • Maybe so, but you don’t need to exaggerate a situation so that a swat team comes running and a town is asked to stay sheltered because you don’t get along with your neighbor and you know he is shooting a air rifle, just plain ridiculous, what a joke

    • just wait till he’s 55. The swat team will have to flash bomb him like the nut job in Mck. people that shoot at pets no matter what the reason is are mentally ill. he should be charged with a felony and he should also lose his right to bear arms forever.

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