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‘All this over trees’: Man shoots neighbor who was trimming trees because he thought he was on his property, cops say

Edward Druzolowski allegedly killed neighbor

Edward S. Druzolowski, 78, is accused of shooting his neighbor Brian Ford to death in Volusia County, Florida. (Volusia County Jail)

A man who was trimming trees in Florida was shot to death because his 78-year-old neighbor thought he was on his property, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

Edward S. Druzolowski is facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of 42-year-old Brian J. Ford, the sheriff’s office said.

In a press release, deputies said Ford was trimming trees over the property line between his and Druzolowski’s homes in DeLeon Springs, about 30 miles east of Daytona Beach. Druzolowski came out and confronted Ford about being on his property.

“Druzolowski told detectives he threatened to shoot Ford, and when Ford didn’t leave, he shot him,” the press release said.

The sheriff’s office received two 911 calls reporting the incident shortly after 7 p.m. Sunday.

In one of the 911 calls, which have been reveiwed by Law&Crime, Druzolowski told dispatchers he walked up to Ford with a gun in his hand and told him to get off the property.

“I was pointing a gun at him trying to get him off my property and he kept walking to me real close so I shot him,” he told dispatchers.

He said he said he normally doesn’t keep rounds in the first two cylinders of the gun.

“First time [I pulled the trigger] it just clicked, and he kept walking toward me after he heard the click so I pulled the trigger again and it shot him,” he told the dispatchers.

Druzolowski later told detectives that he scared for his life because Ford had a criminal history and his “reputation caused him fear, as Brian told him in the past how he would win fights in jail/prison,” a probable cause arrest affidavit reviewed by Law&Crime said.

Druzolowski’s wife said Ford got within arm’s length of her husband but Ford did not have anything in his hands, nor did he threaten her husband, according to the affidavit.

The other 911 call came from Ford’s mother.

“My neighbor just shot my son,” she screamed to dispatchers. “…. Please hurry, hurry, hurry.”

She also told dispatchers that deputies “better take [Druzolowski] to jail.”

The first two deputies on scene began life-saving measures until paramedics arrived, but Ford was pronounced dead on the scene.

Detectives determined there was probable cause to arrest Druzolowski and he was taken to jail where he’s being held without bond.

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A woman who identified as herself as Ford’s sister commented on the sheriff’s Facebook post that the shooting happened with Ford’s 8-year-old son at his side. Ford was doing yard work for his 77-year-old mother, his sister said.

“There is no normal human being on the planet that can shoot a child’s father right in front of the baby!!! His wife did nothing as she watched him,” Becky Ford wrote.

She lamented that the shooting was unjustified.

“Yes, you need to get the whole story and picture!!! This man has killed my brother and left his children without a dad, My mom without a son and me with out my only living brother!!! All this over trees,” she wrote.

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