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Fatal Shooting Erupts as Man Accused of Murdering Neighbor’s Son Over Tree Trimming Dispute

September 20, 2023

 

 

 

 

 

A tragic incident unfolded in Volusia County, Florida, as a 78-year-old man, Edward Druzolowski, was arrested early Monday morning for allegedly shooting and killing his neighbor’s 42-year-old son, Brian Ford. The confrontation arose when Ford was trimming tree limbs along his mother’s property fence line on Sunday evening, according to a Facebook post by the Volusia Sheriff’s Office.

Reportedly, Druzolowski confronted Ford about being on his property and threatened to shoot him if he didn’t leave. Tragically, Ford refused to comply, and Druzolowski followed through on his threat, resulting in Ford’s life being cut short despite the immediate efforts of the first responding deputies.

Ford’s mother, in a frantic 911 call, described how her son was simply tending to the trees at her house, which is adjacent to Druzolowski’s property when the fatal shooting occurred. She mentioned that Ford’s 8-year-old son was near him during this horrifying incident, as detailed in court documents.

In a separate 911 call, Druzolowski’s wife expressed remorse, stating that her husband “didn’t mean to do this” and had only intended to scare Ford, as per court documents.

Druzolowski admitted in an interview with detectives that he had been watching football at home when his wife informed him of Ford’s tree-trimming activities on their property. Carrying a concealed firearm, Druzolowski confronted Ford and ordered him to leave. An argument ensued, with Ford allegedly responding with words that escalated the situation. Druzolowski claimed to have fired a warning shot, explaining that he “keeps the first two rounds empty for safety reasons.” When Ford continued to approach, Druzolowski fired again, tragically resulting in Ford’s gunshot wound, according to court documents.

Remarkably, the two neighbors had not previously encountered any issues. Druzolowski told detectives that he had ceased communication with Ford a couple of years prior due to Ford’s perceived “reputation” of getting into legal trouble, which had caused him fear, as documented in court records.

Druzolowski also disclosed his medical condition, osteoporosis, expressing concern that being pushed to the ground would have caused significant harm.

Near Ford’s body, investigators discovered two knives and the chainsaw he had been using to trim the trees, further illustrating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Edward Druzolowski now faces a charge of second-degree murder with a firearm and is currently held without bond at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach, as confirmed by the Volusia County clerk’s office.

His arraignment is scheduled for October 12 at 1:30 p.m., as per court records.

CNN reached out to the Office of the Public Defender, initially listed as Druzolowski’s representation, but was informed that the office had “conflicted off of the case” and did not provide additional details. Court records indicate that the assigned public defender, Larry Avallone, withdrew as counsel around noon on Tuesday, leaving questions about whether Druzolowski is seeking alternate counsel at this time.

Source: CNN

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