Detectives: Golden Stop Liquor shooting ‘self-defense’

Sheriff's Deputies investigate a shooting at a liquor store at the corner of Golden Valley Road and Sierra Highway on Saturday Night, February 02, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

Detectives investigating the Golden Stop Liquor shooting that occurred Feb. 2 believe the store owner acted in self-defense when he reportedly shot and killed a suspect during a robbery.

“It’ll be presented to the district attorney,” sheriff’s Lt. Robert Westphal said, adding that he doubts the district attorney will press charges against the store owner.

Based on his investigation, Westphal believes the store owner acted in self-defense during a shootout in the store that left a store employee shot one time in a “lower appendage,” and the alleged robbery suspect — identified by the coroner as Brandon Nicholas Burris, 25, of Canyon Country — shot six times in the upper torso.

“Two handguns were involved,” Westphal said Thursday. Detectives believe the store owner was using a legal firearm, but did not disclose what type of gun was used. “Both were shot at close range.”

Westphal declined to say who the investigators believe took the first shot inside the store, saying the investigation is still ongoing. He also said they could not release any security camera footage, saying that too is not available yet as the investigation remains ongoing.

Burris is believed to have been armed with a handgun when he entered the business, per homicide officials. Around 8:21 p.m., the two men, Burris and the store owner, exchanged fire. While Burris had reportedly been shot “multiple times” and killed, the unnamed store owner was shot a single time in the lower body.

Video footage of the incident shows the store owner crawling out of the store, before a sheriff’s deputy approached to help and removed him from the scene.

The store owner was then transferred to a local area hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. Burris was pronounced dead at the scene.

Westphal said Thursday that multiple agencies are involved in the investigation, and that evidence is still being collected to determine if Burris is believed to have been involved in other crimes in the community.

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