A Florida man accused of fatally shooting a man who was trimming trees along his mother’s property line has been arrested on a murder charge, authorities said Monday.
Edward S. Druzolowski, 78, threatened to shoot Brian J. Ford, 42, who he said was on his property Sunday in DeLeon Springs, Fla., while “trimming tree limbs along the fence line,” the Volusia Sheriff’s Office’s said in a statement posted on social media.
“Druzolowski told detectives he threatened to shoot Ford, and when Ford didn’t leave, he shot him,” the statement said.
Ford died at the scene, the sheriff’s office said.
Officials said deputies responded to two 911 calls reporting the shooting about 7:15 p.m. Sunday.
Druzolowski was appointed a public defender, but no specific lawyer had been assigned to the case by Monday afternoon, the Office of the Public Defender 7th Judicial Circuit,
Brian Ford’s mother, Linda Ford, 76, said that her 8-year-old grandson witnessed the fatal shooting as he stood next to his father.
“The neighbor came out and said get off my lawn and point-blank shot him,” Ford said.
She said her grandson told her that the suspect “put the gun right up to his heart and pulled the trigger.”
She said her son was helping her cut down tree limbs that were falling and breaking a chain-linked fence near her property line.
Ford said her son never set foot on her neighbor’s property because it’s against the law to put up a fence directly along the property line. Instead, a fence can be put up within two feet of the property line, she said.
Ford said her grandson became hysterical after the shooting. She said the neighbor allegedly pointed the gun at the child after fatally shooting her son.
“My little grandson was going berserk out there. He wanted to be with his daddy, he wanted to lay with his daddy,” she said. “I wanted to get him in the house for safety reasons.”
Ford said her son worked as a handyman, doing whatever odd jobs needed to be done to provide for his family. He had three sons, 20, 18 and 8 years old.
“He was wonderful,” she said. “He was wonderful to his children. He was wonderful to me all the time. He was handy. He would help anybody at any time. He would drop everything”
Ford continued, “His boys were his world, and now they don’t have a daddy.”
Ford said she called 911 after hearing gunfire.
Druzolowski was booked into Volusia County Branch Jail and is being held without bond pending his first court appearance, according to the sheriff’s office.
DeLeon Springs is about 55 miles north of Orlando.