SWAT team shoots at man who set home on fire

St. Petersburg, Florida -- A man who was being evicted from his home set it on fire and shot at SWAT members, according to St. Petersburg police.

Paul Sibley was recently notified that he was being evicted from his home and in response, he allegedly set the home on fire. He then took a position in a neighbor's yard behind his home while armed with a semiautomatic handgun and several containers of ammunition.

Police say Sibley left a note on a car parked in front the burning home that indicated there were explosives inside, although none were found after the fire was extinguished.

When hostage negotiators initially attempt to approach Sibley, he fired at least one round at them before they retreated to cover and awaited the deployment of SWAT members. A second attempt was made by hostage negotiators to speak with Sibley and, upon being contacted again, Sibley reportedly raised his gun at the officers, who fired in response.

Three officers -- Bradley Bryan, 48, Robert Peters, 42, and Matthew Hansell, 41 -- discharged their weapons. They will be placed on administrative leave pending a preliminary review of the shooting.

Interim Chief David DeKay was briefed on the operation by situation commanders. He noted that "the SWAT team members and hostage negotiators performed with great bravery and professionalism in a very difficult and dangerous situation."

Sibley was taken to a local hospital for treatment. He has since been released and transported to the Pinellas County Jail. He is charged with two counts of attempted first degree murder of a law enforcement officer, two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, and one count of first degree arson.

PHOTOS: Rejected Florida License Plates


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment