Palm Harbor man charged with shooting at neighbor’s home says he was targeting rats, deputies say

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) – A man accused of shooting at his neighbor’s house told detectives he was targeting rats in his backyard, deputies said.

According to an arrest report, Stephen Jonas, 51, was jailed on one count of shooting into an occupied dwelling after he fired several shots at a Palm Harbor home.

Around 3 a.m. Sunday morning, deputies responded to multiple reports of shots fired in the area of County Road 1 and Curlew Road.

When responding officers arrived at the scene, they also heard gunshots, which they say sounded like they came from a rifle.  They determined the shots came from a nearby residence.

Deputies set up a perimeter and spent eight hours trying to contact the homeowner, later identified as Stephen Jonas.

Around 11:22 a.m. Sunday, Jonas finally walked out of his home and was taken into custody, the arrest report states.

Deputies said one neighboring residence was struck with a round, but no one was injured. No other injuries were reported and no one else was inside the home with Jonas.

Deputies later found a .22 rifle inside Jonas’ home along with drugs and other weapons.

While in custody, Jonas told detectives he was shooting rats in his backyard.

Deputies said he is currently being cooperative with the investigation and will be taken to the Pinellas County Jail.

No further details are available at this time.

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