Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Public safety

St. Petersburg police shoot man they say threatened with scissors

ST. PETERSBURG — Police shot and killed a man Sunday evening they say was suicidal and threatening two officers with a pair of scissors.

The man, identified by police as Arthur Dixon, 43, of 5411 Fourth Ave. N was shot in the upper torso. He was transported as a trauma alert patient to Bayfront Medical Center, where he later died.

His mother, who was temporarily staying at his house, called authorities about 6:10 p.m. to say Dixon had doused himself with gasoline and was threatening to set himself afire.

A neighbor, Ray Wuest, saw firefighters arrive and went to help. He said he has known Dixon more than a decade and — unlike firefighters at the scene — was not intimidated by a pit bull named Chico in the window.

Wuest said he went inside to try to talk to Dixon.

Dixon sat at the kitchen table, he said, with gas spilled all around and on him, smoking a cigarette.

Wuest said he took the cigarette, then went outside to ask firefighters whether they had something to mop up the gas. He said he went back in to clean it up. After he did, the police arrived and insisted he leave.

St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz said officers negotiated for more than an hour with Dixon. But he was "belligerent and threatening," a police statement said.

About 7:30 p.m., Dixon ran out the back of the house where Officers Devin Jones and Curtis Wright were stationed.

Dixon held a pair of scissors and raised them in a threatening manner as he approached the officers, Puetz said.

The two officers drew their guns and warned him several times to stop, Puetz said, and retreated backward. Still, Dixon kept approaching.

Both officers fired. Puetz said he did not know how many shots were fired. Dixon was struck in the upper torso and fell.

"Scissors are a deadly weapon," Puetz said. "They can cause great harm. They can be just as dangerous as a knife."

Both officers are on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.

Wuest said Dixon is a former landscaper who suffered a brain injury some time ago and became disabled. He has two children, one in college and one in high school, Wuest said, who do not live with him.

Ray Wuest and his wife, Mary Wuest, said they could have ended it all peacefully if only given the chance.

"If they would have left us alone with him, we could have gotten him out of the house," Mary Wuest said.

State records show that Dixon was convicted in 2011 of robbery with a weapon and resisting an officer with violence.

He was released from state prison Feb. 17.

News researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report.

Comments
Woman, 87, killed in collision while driving wrong way near Brooksville, FHP says

Woman, 87, killed in collision while driving wrong way near Brooksville, FHP says

BROOKSVILLE— An 87-year-old motorist died Tuesday night after she collided with a pickup truck while driving on the wrong side of the road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash occurred about 8:50 p.m. as Patricia Green Marlette of Brook...
Updated: 1 hour ago
FDLE: Victim in $480,000 scam is heiress to Wrigley gum fortune

FDLE: Victim in $480,000 scam is heiress to Wrigley gum fortune

A woman state authorities say was scammed out of $480,000 by two of her employees is an heiress to the Wrigley chewing gum fortune.The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed Tuesday that the victim in the case is Helen Rich, 69, formerly Hel...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Carlton: Lowering the American flag for the newly dead at school — again

Carlton: Lowering the American flag for the newly dead at school — again

In a scene repeated at public buildings across the country, the American flag in front of the library outside my office window was lowered to half-staff this week.This time for 10 dead in Texas.In February, the American flag was similarly half-staff ...
Published: 05/23/18
Police: St. Pete man who pried a safe out of the wall in custody

Police: St. Pete man who pried a safe out of the wall in custody

ST. PETERSBURG — It took more than an hour for a 25-year-old man to break into a restaurant, pry a safe out of the wall, drag it through the back and then wrestle it into his car, according to police.That was last week. Michael Murphy was arrested Tu...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Search underway for North Carolina man missing from Tampa-based Carnival Paradise

Search underway for North Carolina man missing from Tampa-based Carnival Paradise

The U.S. Coast Guard was searching Tuesday for a 50-year-old North Carolina man who reportedly fell off a Tampa-based cruise ship.The Coast Guard Key West received a call from the cruise ship Carnival Paradise about 10 a.m. saying the man, Brian Lamo...
Published: 05/22/18
Deputies: 10th-grader brings loaded gun to Bradenton high school

Deputies: 10th-grader brings loaded gun to Bradenton high school

A Bradenton Bayshore High School student faces charges after he brought a gun on campus on Tuesday, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.Around 11:45 a.m., school resource officers were alerted by school staff that the student, a 10th-gra...
Published: 05/22/18
Police swarm Panama City street in apparent shootout

Police swarm Panama City street in apparent shootout

PANAMA CITY BEACH — Multiple law enforcement agencies have surrounded a Panama City apartment building where an active shooter is barricaded inside.City spokeswoman Caitlyn Lawrence says it’s still an active situation. The suspect has been firing on ...
Published: 05/22/18
FedEx driver, 22, dies in crash on Interstate 4

FedEx driver, 22, dies in crash on Interstate 4

TAMPA — A 22-year-old FedEx driver died on Interstate 4 Tuesday when a tire blew out on his freight truck, which veered into the path of a Chevrolet Volt, state troopers said. Two teen girls in the Volt survived the 10:21 a.m. crash. A photo shows ci...
Published: 05/22/18
Crime in Florida, Tampa Bay region decreased in 2017, data show

Crime in Florida, Tampa Bay region decreased in 2017, data show

Crime in Florida reached a 47-year low in 2017, according to state figures released Tuesday and touted as a "major announcement" by a Republican governor determined to win a U.S. Senate seat. The state’s total crime rate dropped by 6 percent from 201...
Published: 05/22/18

FDLE: Pasco couple scammed elderly employer out of $480,000

TAMPA — A Pasco County couple face dozens of charges after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said they stole more than $480,000 from their elderly employer.Chet Alan Ragsdale, 45, was arrested Monday on 28 counts of grand theft, 25 counts of ...
Published: 05/21/18