New details about Augustine Avenue SWAT situation

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Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 6:29 pm | Updated: 9:02 pm, Thu Jun 6, 2013.

SARASOTA -  After a large showing of force Wednesday from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, questions remain about Philip Buckley, the man who even in death remains the subject of an active investigation.

The scene on Augustine Avenue in Sarasota looked like something out of a movie.  Dozens of law enforcement officials lined the street with automatic weapons for hours. 

The situation took place Wednesday afternoon after Philip Buckley locked himself inside his home and then later took his own life.  According to reports, Buckley made a 911 call around noon saying he was going to kill himself.  Many speculate the incident stemmed from a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation that resulted in the seizure of items from his home. 

A situation that law enforcement officials refuses to elaborate on.

"The warrant served last week is part of an active investigation and we can't provide future information and any questions about the suicide should be referred to the Sarasota County Sheriff's office," said Steve Arthur a communication director from FDLE.

And, when we reached out to the sheriff's office they refused to comment on the incident. 

But, friends and neighbors believe the investigation may have been the driving force behind Buckley's death.  And, many of them say the picture being painted of him is not accurate.

"I first met Phil back in 2004, when Carlie Brucia was raped and murdered and left on our property.  He heard about the story up in Maryland and wanted to do something," said Rod Myers the minister Central Church of Christ.

Myers says Buckley not only organized the rally that raised thousands of dollars for Carlie's family to help with burial expenses but he also moved to the area and later donated his time to maintain a memorial in her honor.

"He sure had a heart for kids.  It just broke his heart when he heard of a child that had been treated like Carlie was.  He was just a loving person.  A hard working person, again he worked countless hours here maintaining the garden and most of the time at his own expense.  So, when I heard it last night it was just unbelievable that they were talking about Phil," said Myers.

As those close to Buckley struggle to with the details surrounding his death, there are still some unanswered questions.  Like why did more than 6 hours pass between the 911 call and when deputies entered Buckley's home?  Or what exactly the FDLE was investigating when they raided his home on April 30th. 

But despite those questions Myers says they will be focusing on the positive.  "We sweat a lot here in this garden, so that's how I knew him and that's how I'm going to remember him."

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  • JudyPredatorPatrol posted at 7:52 pm on Thu, May 9, 2013.

    JudyPredatorPatrol Posts: 4

    Thank you Rod for bringing the garden to the medias attention.

  • JudyPredatorPatrol posted at 7:48 pm on Thu, May 9, 2013.

    JudyPredatorPatrol Posts: 4

    Phil was very passionate about Carlie's memorial site. He did sweat many hours out there especially before an event. We had our Carlie Brucia & Fallen Angels Ride April 27th which ended at the memorial site this year. We stayed in touch as he spent hours getting it ready for the riders to see the beautiful garden, that was his baby!
    Every year he would attend the Safety Rallies at the church and always hung out at hour booth helping when needed. This is a sad day with many unanswered questions.
    I have to say I am pissed that the swat team did not go in sooner, he may still be with us if so.


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