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Ex-Military Man Dies After Five-Hour Standoff With Law Enforcement

Brian Hartsock, 21, held off law enforcement in a five-hour standoff that ended when he killed himself with a shotgun.

A young ex-military man who held officers at bay as he repeatedly fired a shotgun into the air at his home in North County killed himself with the weapon after a five hour standoff with law enforcement, authorities said.

Brian Hartsock, 21, barricaded himself in the house in the 700 block of Stanley Avenue in an unincorporated area just outside Escondido city limits shortly before 7:30 p.m. Monday, according to sheriff's officials.

When deputies arrived at the residence, they heard Hartsock talking on the telephone in a seemingly hostile tone of voice, then saw him walk onto a rear patio, carrying what appeared to be a shotgun, Sgt. Mark Haynesworth said.

“(He) sounded angry at who he was speaking with and fired (the) weapon in a northern direction toward another residence,” Haynesworth said.

When deputies eventually contacted Hartsock by telephone, he fired the gun again.

A sheriff's SWAT team and crisis negotiator were en route about 12:30 a.m. when several more shots rang out. A deputy then saw Hartsock fall to the ground.

The special weapons and tactics personnel arrived a short time later and made entry to the home, finding Hartsock dead from an apparent gunshot wound to the head, according to the sergeant.

The county Medical Examiner's Office. ruled Hartsock's death a suicide, with clinical depression as a contributing factor.

Hartsock was discharged from military service about a year ago, according to the M.E.'s office. It was not immediately clear which service branch he had belonged to.

A Facebook page has recently been created honoring his memory.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Elaine C. August 25, 2011 at 07:09 PM
So sad how these young people fall through the cracks. Condolences to the family.

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