A St. Petersburg police sniper shot and critically injured a man early Thursday after he fired at officers during a three-hour standoff at a boarding home, authorities said.
The incident began about 11:50 p.m. on Wednesday, when police were called to the home on the 200 block of 29th Street South, according to police. As part of the Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Taskforce, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.
At a news conference later Thursday morning, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Jerid Fenderson, 26, invited a woman, her boyfriend and her son to stay in his one-room apartment on Wednesday because they didn’t have a place to stay. Fenderson knew the woman, Gualtieri said.
Gualtieri described the boarding home as a house with multiple rooms, with multiple stories and corridors.
The family began staying in the apartment Wednesday. Fenderson showed the family he had a gun and said it would keep them safe, Gualtieri said.
Fenderson left the apartment Wednesday and came back to find the family sleeping in his bed. Gualtieri said Fenderson became upset and pointed the gun at the woman, child and boyfriend.
The family escaped the apartment and called police. Officers determined there was probable cause to arrest Fenderson on three counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, and as they were setting up a perimeter outside the house, Fenderson came outside and began shooting, Gualtieri said.
St. Petersburg police Officer Hayden Tuggle returned fire but did not strike Fenderson, who went back inside the home, the sheriff said. Police evacuated the building.
“People were in danger because he was firing out the front door and firing across the street where the officers were,” Gualtieri said. “Luckily, no one else was injured.”
A police supervisor arrived on the scene and began speaking with Fenderson, who then fired more shots inside the home, Gualtieri said.
The St. Petersburg police SWAT team arrived about 1:30 a.m. While the SWAT team was setting up, Fenderson came outside and fired more rounds, Gualtieri said.
SWAT team sniper Quentin-Lee Morgan, who was set up to the south of the home, shot Fenderson once in the chest, Gualtieri said. Officer Robert Snippe and an undercover officer Gualtieri did not name were also involved in the shooting.
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Fenderson went back into the apartment, where police found him on the ground. Fenderson was treated at the scene and taken to a local hospital.
Gualtieri said Fenderson made a comment to someone that he wanted to kill the child.
“He made a lot statements to the effect of, he wanted to kill people,” Gualtieri said.
Gualtieri said the investigation is ongoing and police will interview multiple officers, SWAT team members and witnesses.
The task force was created in 2020 so that an agency’s detectives would not investigate their own officers after a use-of-force incident.