By: Steve Nichols, FOX 13 Pinellas Bureau Reporter - bio
ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -
St. Petersburg Police believe a man shot by officers early Sunday morning may have been attempting "suicide by cop".
69-year-old Paul Sibley is charged with felony arson, two counts of attempted murder of an officer and two counts aggravated assault of an officer.
Police spokesman Michael Puetz said Sibley faced foreclosure, eviction and left a note admitting he set his home on fire.
Standing in the yard behind his home, Sibley allegedly fired a shot at the first officers who encountered him, and raised his weapon toward hostage negotiators and SWAT officers.
"Certainly everyone knows if you point a firearm at a police officer there's a high probability you're going to be shot," said Puetz. "So it's very possible that this man was doing that with the idea of essentially committing suicide by cop."
Sibley's first appearance was delayed Monday because he was in surgery for his wounds.
He was shot twice in the right leg and twice in the right arm, but none of his injuries are considered life-threatening.
"Police training does not in any way entail any wounding by shooting," Puetz said. "These were all SWAT members. These are all highly-trained individuals, so they are very familiar with firearms. It's just circumstances in this situation."
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