Fla. man dies after setting home on fire, shooting at deputies, firefighters
A wellness check in Citrus County turned violent when a Floral City man opened fire on first responders
By Michaela Mulligan
Tampa Bay Times
CITUS COUNTY, Fla. — A well-being check ended in a home fire and the fatal shooting, by law enforcement officers, of a 57-year-old man in Floral City on Friday.
The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office and Citrus County Fire Rescue responded to a home on East Trails End Road around 12:45 p.m. Friday for a well-being check on Paul Vincent Noeller.
When officials arrived, they found Noeller acting “erratic,” according to a news release from the Citrus County Sheriff’s office. Noeller used multiple gas cans to pour gasoline over the home and yard, deputies said.
Officials made several attempts to de-escalate the situation, deputies said. However, Noeller set the home on fire and began randomly shooting a gun in the direction of first responders, deputies said.
As firefighters were trying to extinguish the flames, deputies returned gunfire.
“While CCFR was attempting to extinguish the fire, Noeller became uncontrollable,” a Saturday media release from the Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies said they were forced to protect themselves, the community and other first responders and to use “deadly force.”
Two deputies fired their weapons, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office said. Noeller was struck by the deputies’ gunfire and died at the scene, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said could not confirm how many shots were fired, nor how many times Noeller was shot, because it is part of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s investigation.
Per the policy of the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the shooting.