Man sets fire to Indian River County mobile home, shoots himself, sheriff's office reports

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. - The Indian River County Sheriff's Office is investigating a report that a 77-year-old man intentionally set his mobile home on fire then shot himself Friday morning.

Neighbors say they saw the man attempting to set his lawnmower on fire and place it next to his mobile home in the 5000 block of 45th Street. When they tried to move it away they say he got a rifle and ordered them to leave.

They say he fired the weapon into the air several times to scare them and then poured gas onto the building which caught fire and eventually burned to the ground.

After walking away they heard a gunshot, according to the sheriff's office. When they investigated, they saw the man seated in a wheelchair with a gunshot wound to his head.

The sheriff's office says the man did not die and was able to talk to them after they arrived on scene.

Photo by: Meghan McRoberts, WPTV

Among the things he said was that there was dynamite in the mobile home. Although that couldn't be confirmed, fire officials said there appeared to be several small explosions consistent with ammunition being burned. About a dozen neighboring mobile homes were evacuated as a precaution.

45th Street was blocked in both directions but reopened  at 10:20 a.m.

The still unidentified man was transported to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center for treatment. The Indian River County Sheriff's Office says he will likely receive a psychiatric evaluation after he is treated for the gunshot wound. 

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Lamaur Stancil, Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers contributed to this report.


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