Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - Detectives are investigating a deputy-involved shooting at the St. Petersburg Courthouse. The shooting took place shortly before 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at a security checkpoint in the main lobby of the St. Petersburg Courthouse located at 544 1st Avenue North in St. Petersburg.
According to detectives the incident began when the suspect, 30-year-old Glen Lee Powell of Brandon, enter the courthouse lobby wearing a backpack. As Powell approached the security checkpoint he was instructed by one of the two uniformed deputies present to place his backpack on the conveyer belt for the scanner prior to passing through the magnetometer. Detectives say the suspect responded by throwing his backpack to the floor and drawing a semi-automatic pistol which he then began firing at the deputies. One round struck 58-year-old Deputy B. J. Lyons in his left shoulder, however he and 57-year-old Deputy Marvin Glover, who was uninjured, returned fire with their agency issued handguns. Powell was killed in the exchange of gunfire.
Detectives say that the round that struck Deputy Lyons, first hit his portable radio shoulder-microphone which may have deflected it enough to prevent serious injury. Deputy Lyons sustained a non-life-threatening injury to his left shoulder and was transported to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg where he was treated and later released. No other injuries were reported.
Detectives assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Robbery/Homicide Unit, and the Administrative Investigations Division will conduct the investigation. A Sheriff’s Office bomb dog team was called to the courthouse to check the backpack carried by the suspect along with his white 1998 Dodge pick-up truck that was parked nearby. No explosives were found, however detectives say the suspect had carried at least one additional magazine of ammunition for his handgun at the time of his unprovoked attack on the deputies. The courthouse remained closed for the rest of the day, but is expected to open again at the normal time on Thursday, May 8, 2008.
The investigation continues.
In accordance with Sheriff's Office policy both Deputy Lyons and Deputy Glover have been placed on non-disciplinary paid administrative leave during the investigation.