A Volusia County, Florida, man was arrested early Monday morning after allegedly shooting and killing his neighbor’s 42-year-old son who was cutting tree branches along his fence Sunday evening, said the Volusia Sheriff’s Office in a Facebook post.
Edward Druzolowski, 78, confronted Brian Ford about his presence 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 lifesaving measures taken by the first two deputies on the scene.
Ford’s mother told sheriff’s deputies in a 911 call that her son was trimming trees at her home, which is next door to Druzolowski’s, when his neighbor shot him. She also mentioned that Ford’s 8-year-old son was near him when the shooting occurred, according to court documents.
In another 911 call, Druzolowski’s wife told authorities that her husband “didn’t mean to do that” and “just wanted to scare him (Ford),” according to court documents.
Druzolowski said in an interview with a detective that he was watching football at 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 along the lines of ‘Mind your own business.’ ”, according to court documents.
Druzolowski then pointed the gun at Ford, who he said kept getting closer to him as they argued. Druzolowski said he threatened to shoot Ford as he approached, pulling the trigger once because he “keeps the first two (rounds) empty for safety reasons.” As Ford continued to advance toward him, Druzolowski pulled the trigger again, this time setting off the weapon and shooting Ford, according to court documents.
The two men had no problems in the past, Druzolowski told detectives, but he stopped communicating with Ford a few years ago because his “reputation” for being in trouble with the law “made him fear,” according to the documents.
The 78-year-old also told detectives he suffered from osteoporosis and that if he had been pushed to the ground it “would have hurt a lot.”
Two knives and the chainsaw Ford used 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 bail at the Volusia County Jail in Daytona Beach, the Volusia County Clerk’s Office confirmed to CNN.
His arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 12 at 1:30 p.m., according to court records.
CNN reached out by phone Tuesday to the public defender’s office, which was initially listed as representing Druzolowski, but was told the office was “in conflict with the matter.” The office provided no further information.
Court records show the appointed public defender, Larry Avallone, withdrew as attorney Tuesday around noon. It is not yet known whether Druzolowski has requested another lawyer.