A Volusia County, Florida, man was arrested early Monday morning after allegedly shooting and killing his neighbor’s 42-year-old son who had been trimming tree limbs along his fence line Sunday evening, the Volusia Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.
Edward Druzolowski, 78, confronted Brian Ford about being on his property before threatening to shoot him, the VSO said in the post. When Ford refused to leave, Druzolowski shot the man, who died despite life-saving measures by the first two deputies on the scene.
Ford’s mother told sheriff’s deputies in a 911 call that her son had been trimming the trees at her house, which is directly next to Druzolowski’s, when her neighbor shot him. She also mentioned Ford’s 8-year-old son was near him when the shooting happened, according to court documents.
In a separate 911 call, Druzolowski’s wife told authorities her husband “didn’t mean to do this” and “just meant to scare him (Ford),” court documents showed.
Druzolowski said in an interview with a detective that he was watching football in his home when his wife told him Ford was cutting tree branches on their property and their gate was open. Holding a gun behind his back, Druzolowski went into his backyard and told Ford to “get off” his property, to which he said Ford responded “something to the effect of, ‘Mind your business,’” according to court documents.
Druzolowski then pointed his gun at Ford, whom he said kept moving closer to him as they argued. Druzolowski said he threatened to shoot Ford as he got close, pulling the trigger once because he “keeps the first two (rounds) empty for safety reasons.” When Ford kept moving toward him, Druzolowski pulled the trigger again, this time setting off the gun and shooting Ford, court documents said.
The two men never had any problems in the past, Druzolowski told detectives, but he had stopped communicating with Ford a couple years ago because his “reputation” of getting in trouble with the law “caused him fear,” the documents said.
The 78-year-old also told detectives he has osteoporosis and that if he had been pushed to the ground it “would have hurt really bad.”
Two knives and the chainsaw Ford had been using to trim the trees were found near his body, according to court documents.
Druzolowski is charged with second-degree murder with a firearm and is being held without bond at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach, the Volusia County clerk’s office confirmed to CNN.
His arraignment is scheduled for October 12 at 1:30 p.m., according to court records.
CNN reached out to the Office of the Public Defender, who was originally listed as representing Druzolowski, by phone Tuesday but was told the office had “conflicted off of the case.” The office did not provide any further information.
Court records show that the assigned public defender, Larry Avallone, withdrew as counsel at around noon on Tuesday. It’s unclear whether Druzolowski has sought alternate counsel at this time.