Flagler County Sheriff: “If You Pull A Gun On A Deputy Sheriff, You Can Expect To Be Shot,” Body-cam Shows Footage of Near-Deadly Altercation

Steven Barneski
Deputies learned that Steven Barneski, 30, had felony warrants and was the subject of a nationwide pickup order to be held with no bond. Deputies saw a vehicle known to be associated with Barneski and recognized him as a passenger in the vehicle.

BUNNELL, FL – On July 1, 2020 at approximately 11:15 p.m. deputies of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office were involved in a deputy involved shooting while trying to arrest a known violent offender for outstanding fugitive warrants.

Deputies learned that Steven Barneski, 30, had felony warrants and was the subject of a nationwide pickup order to be held with no bond. Deputies saw a vehicle known to be associated with Barneski and recognized him as a passenger in the vehicle.

Members of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office PACE Unit made a traffic stop on a beige 1994 Toyota Corolla in the 600 block of Sabal Palm Street in Bunnell, FL. Barneski’s vehicle then came to stop in the driveway of 6262 Sabal Palm Street, Bunnel in area known as Daytona North.

Deputies then approached the vehicle and immediately ordered Barneski to exit the vehicle. He refused to comply and in fact rolled the window up asking who they were. All deputies involved were wearing either an agency uniform or a tactical uniform with the word ‘SHERIFF’ in bold letters and Sheriff’s vehicles, both marked and unmarked, had their emergency lights activated.


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Barneski continued to be noncompliant and deputies noticed that he was moving around inside the vehicle and then abruptly reached under his seat using his left hand and quickly pulled out a gun. In response, three deputies fired their duty weapons striking him multiple times.

Even after being shot, Barneski continued to hold the gun and refused to comply with orders from deputies to drop his weapon.

Deputies then used crisis-negotiating tactics to de-escalate the situation. They repeatedly told Barneski that paramedics were on scene to help him and if he would drop the gun, they could care for him. Eventually he opened the passenger door and threw the gun into the grass.

Flagler County Fire/Rescue transported Barneski to Hidden Trails Park where a landing zone was established for Volusia County Sheriff’s Office Air One helicopter who airlifted Barneski to Halifax Hospital for medical treatment. He is reported to be in serious condition.

“It is unfortunate that this suspect did not surrender peacefully and instead chose to escalate this dangerous situation and force our deputies to protect themselves,” Sheriff Staly said. “Barneski is a known criminal in Flagler County who has a history of wanting to physically harm deputies. But let it be known, if you pull a gun on a Deputy Sheriff, you can expect to be shot.”

At the time of this incident, Barneski had warrants for Violation of Probation involving possession of a Controlled Schedule 2 Substance and Violation of Probation for Leaving the Scene of an Accident with

Barneski is no stranger to law enforcement and has a very lengthy criminal history in Flagler County dating back to 2011. Barneski’s probation violations stems from weapons and drug charges.

His other arrests have been for:

  • Aggravated Stalking
  • Battery
  • Resisting an Officer with Violence
  • Depriving an Officer of Means of Protection or Communications
  • Possession of a Firearm/Weapon by a Convicted Felon
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  • Possession of Methamphetamine
  • Possession of Marijuana
  • Driving while License Suspended
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Injury

In 2012 he was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months to the Florida Department of Corrections for a very violent Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer and most recently he was sentenced to 2 ½ months in the County Jail for weapons possession on January 17, 2019.

His total arrests include 6 felony charges and 5 misdemeanors and he has been convicted on 4 felonies and 4 misdemeanors.

“I want to commend our deputies who performed exactly as they were trained to stop the threat that was presented to them by the suspect,” Sheriff Staly said. “While it is tragic that an individual was critically injured last night but this could have had a far worse outcome. I am grateful that our deputies involved in a very dangerous situation are safe and made it back home to their families last night.”

Further charges against Barneski are pending.

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