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Sunday, Jun 24, 2018
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Police: St. Pete man wounded after setting fire to house, shooting at officers

A St. Petersburg man was shot by police early Sunday after he set his house on fire over an eviction notice and then fired at officers, police said.

Paul Allen Sibley, 69, of 494 44th Ave. N., was wounded and taken to a hospital, police said. Sibley was released from the hospital later Sunday and taken to 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 first-degree arson.

At 12:33 a.m., St. Petersburg Fire Rescue responded to a house fire at Sibley's home, and found the structure fully engulfed, police said. A neighbor told firefighters that the man who lives in the burning house was in her backyard holding a handgun. Sibley also had several containers of ammunition, police said.

About 3:15 a.m., hostage negotiators tried to approach Sibley, but he fired at least one round at them before they retreated and waited for the SWAT team, police said.

Negotiators tried again to speak with Sibley, and he raised his gun at the officers who fired back, according to police.

Sibley, who had recently been notified that he was being evicted, also left a note on a car parked in front of his home, stating there were explosives inside, police said. None were found.

The officers involved in the shooting were Bradley Bryan, 48, on the force since 1991; Robert Peters, 42, an officer since 2007; and Matthew Hansell, 41, an officer since 2006. In accordance with protocol, they will be placed on administrative duty pending a preliminary review of the shooting.

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