Man barricaded in home |

Man barricaded in home

Barry Ginter
Nevada Appeal Editor
Amy Lisenbe/Nevada Appeal Tribal Police Chief Richard Varner, police jacket, advises Vernon Markussen, right, and other tribe members gathered at the Carson Indian Colony of the current situation with a tribe member on Oneida Street who allegedly fired a shotgun Sunday afternoon. Residents of homes near the scene were evacuated to the colony's center as a safety precaution. Check today for story updates.

A Carson Indian Colony man remained barricaded in his home on Oneida Street late into the night as dozens of law enforcement officers stood by outside after he fired shots into the air at about 3:30 p.m.

Brandon Nevers, 44, fired a total of five shots, according to Tribal Police Chief Richard Varner. He made unspecified threats and indicated that he wanted to die. The shots were all fired in about an hour’s time, and at least one blew a hole in the roof of his trailer, according to bystanders. Officers did not fire upon Nevers.

Several families were evacuated from nearby homes shortly after the shots were fired. About 20 people waited at the Carson Colony Gym at the corner of Curry and Oneida streets, drinking coffee and occasionally walking outside into the cold night to watch Nevers’ trailer a few blocks away, where he lives alone.

The FBI was called to the scene and negotiated with Nevers during the night. They consulted with Nevers’ brothers and sisters as they negotiated. Law enforcement officials stressed they would not take any risks to resolve the situation quickly because that might endanger officers or Nevers.

Nevers works as a security employee for the colony, and also does maintenance work and helps tribal elders.

Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong brought the city’s mobile command center, housed in a travel trailer, to the scene, which the FBI used as a command center. He said Nevers is not known to have caused trouble in the past.

“We don’t have any recent history on this guy,” Furlong said. “He’s not your run-of-the-mill get-in-trouble guy.”

He said Nevers had been drinking heavily prior to the incident.

The evacuees, most of whom know Nevers well, said he had stopped drinking alcohol in recent years, after being diagnosed with diabetes.

“He hadn’t been drinking for a long time,” said his sister, Valerie Nevers.

Furlong estimated there were about 25 law enforcement officers on scene from the FBI, tribal police and from Carson City. An ambulance stood at the ready throughout the incident.

At one point, police arrested a man who attempted to walk toward Nevers’ trailer to talk with him.

As they waited at the gym, which also serves as a community center, evacuees speculated on what might have influenced Nevers’ actions. Tribal member Arline Wells thought that Nevers’ diabetes medication combined with alcohol may have caused him to act irrationally.

Nevers’ sister, Valerie, said he had found out recently that he might lose his job on the colony due to budget constraints.

Wells said she was surprised when told what was happening.

“He’s the last person on the colony I’d expect to do this,” Wells said. “If you need something he’s right there. He came and shoveled my walk off … he’s doing things for everyone all the time.”

She said she was sure he did not intend to harm anyone.

“He’s a good hunter. If he was shooting at something, he wouldn’t miss,” she said.

“I would never have expected him to do something like this,” said Al Street, who’s known Nevers for more than 15 years.

Some of the children at the gym told stories about Nevers’ generosity, how when bears were known to be nearby in the hills, he would use his vehicle to transport people from functions on the colony to their homes at night so they wouldn’t be in any danger while walking home.