Man in Sarasota standoff found dead from self-inflicted gunshot, police say

Sarasota County

UPDATE:

The Sarasota Police Department says the man they were looking for in the standoff was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot after 7:30 a.m. Saturday.

There is no danger to the public, and Benjamin Franklin Drive will be reopened soon, according to a release. The investigation is still active, and police plan to release more information by Monday.

Daniel Breiding is the property manager at the Sarasota Sands Resort, which is a couple of buildings over from the L’Elegance On Lido Beach Condo. He and his staff couldn’t get to work Saturday morning.

“It’s a huge impact because now people are checking out and the rooms can’t get cleaned,” Breiding said. “It’s crazy because this type of situation can happen at any resort with any employees or coworkers.”

Mark Weedman tells 8 On Your Side the former employee was Billy Niewold. Weedman says Niewold dated his sister for years. He added Niewold was in a state of depression.

“It’s devastating,” Weedman said. “I believe it took its toll and it was something he couldn’t handle that failure, and there was no tomorrow for him apparently, that’s the way it turned out.”

“Billy was fun-loving guy, loved everyone, I don’t know of anyone that’s ever said a bad thing about him, including I’m sure the people in the condo who knew him too.”

ORIGINAL REPORT:

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — Sarasota police are in negotiations with a man who is believed to have barricaded himself inside a condo after a shooting, according to a release.

The Sarasota Police Department says they responded to a shooting on Benjamin Franklin Drive after 11:30 p.m. Friday. According to the department’s preliminary investigation, the man is a 58-year-old former maintenance employee who was fired from working at the condo earlier this week.

Police say the man fired gunshots into an empty car and got into a dispute with two people afterward. The department says he then barricaded himself in the building.

SWAT personnel and members of the Sarasota Police Department’s Crisis Negotiation Unit have been at the scene since 1 a.m. trying to get the man to surrender peacefully.

In the meanwhile, authorities have closed Benjamin Franklin Drive South Lido Key Beach to the 1500 block of Benjamin Franklin Drive. Police ask residents to avoid the area.

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