Man sets home on fire, shoots at police

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A man who was being evicted from his home set it on fire and shot at at SWAT members.

Paul Sibley was recently notified that he was being evicted from his home -- in response he 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.

Sibley left a note on a car parked in front the burning home that indicated that there were explosive 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 raised his gun at the officers, who fired in response.

Three officers discharged their weapons and will be identified in a later media release. 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 has been admitted to the hospital and is in fair condition. His wounds are not considered life threatening and criminal charges against him for attempted homicide and arson are pending.


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