Deputies: Florida man in 8-hour standoff says he was shooting at rats

Stephen Jonas arrested in Palm Harbor

(iStock / scooperdigital)

PALM HARBOR, Fla. – After an eight-hour standoff with police, a Florida man told officers he was only shooting at rats in his yard with a rifle.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that neighbors in the Palm Harbor area began reporting hearing gunshots about 3 a.m. Sunday. Deputies heard more shots coming from a house after they arrived.

Authorities said they set up a perimeter around the house where Stephen Jonas, 51, lives, trying to contact him for about eight hours. Investigators said Jonas walked out and was arrested.

Deputies found a .223-caliber rifle inside and many other weapons, according to authorities.

At least one round hit a nearby home. No one was injured.

Jonas faces a charge of shooting into an occupied dwelling.

Court records listed no lawyer for him.