78-year-old allegedly shoots, kills neighbor who was trimming trees on property line

ByEmily Shapiro ABCNews logo
Monday, September 18, 2023

A 78-year-old Florida man allegedly shot and killed his neighbor who was trimming trees along their property lines, authorities said.

The shooting was reported around 7:13 p.m. Sunday in DeLeon Springs, about 45 miles north of Orlando, the Volusia Sheriff's Office said.

Brian Ford, 42, was trimming tree limbs along the fence line between two properties when his neighbor, 78-year-old Edward Druzolowski, confronted him, according to the sheriff's office.

Druzolowski later told police that he threatened to shoot, and when his neighbor didn't leave, he shot him, the sheriff's office said.

Druzolowski was arrested for second-degree murder, authorities said.

In a call to 911, Druzolowski's wife said her husband "just meant to scare him," according to court documents.

In Druzolowski's interview with police, he said he approached Ford and told him "to get off his property and Brian said something to the effect of, 'mind your business' followed by some cuss words," according to court documents.

Druzolowski said he pointed his gun at Ford, and Ford then allegedly "said something like, 'You are pointing a gun at me, are you going to shoot me?' and moved closer," according to court documents.

Druzolowski said he told Ford to get off his property and Ford kept moving closer, court documents said.

The 78-year-old told police he then said, "'Stop right now or I'll shoot!'"

Druzolowski told investigators "Brian kept walking closer to him and that's when he pulled the trigger for the first time," according to court documents. "He said his firearm holds 6 rounds in the cylinder, but he keeps the first two empty for safety reasons. He stated Brian heard the gun click and continued to advance towards him, so he pulled the trigger the second time. He advised this time the firearm went off and he shot Brian."

Druzolowski said he hadn't spoken to Ford in a few years and said they'd never had problems before. Druzolowski said Ford never threatened to hurt or kill him, but he mentioned that "Brian's reputation caused him fear." Two knives were found by Ford's body, the documents said.

He said "he believed the only thing he could have done tonight was confront" his neighbor, and said he didn't think about calling police because "he did not think they would respond to something like this," court documents said.

Druzolowski "indicated he thought that when he pointed the firearm at Brian, he would just leave his property," and he said "he was afraid Brian would have hurt or killed him if he did not shoot him," the documents said.

The 78-year-old also said "he has osteoporosis and if he had been pushed to the ground it would have hurt really bad," court documents said.

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