The incident occurred on the evening of 20 October, when the Marion county sheriff department’s major crimes division received information about a shooting incident.
Clifton Anthony Bliss Jr, 58, allegedly became angry when his neighbour James Arland Taylor Jr’s cat entered his property, officials said. Witnesses said that Mr Bliss carried a .22 caliber-rifle to Taylor’s home and shot him twice in the chest, according to the incident report.
“Mr Bliss was so upset that his neighbour’s cat had wandered over into his yard that he went, retrieved a rifle, leaves his home, goes across the street to the victim’s home, tells them that he was upset that their cat came into his yard,” Sergeant Paul Bloom told WFLA TV.
Sergeant Bloom added that the victim urged Mr Bliss to spare his cat. Mr Bliss then decided to turn his gun on Taylor and shoot him instead.
Taylor was found on the ground by a neighbour who was driving by, according to the incident report. When the neighbour stopped and asked Taylor if he was alright, he said “No, I’m dying”, according to NBC.
Mr Bliss’ wife told investigators that he had called her right after the incident and said that he had been assaulted by Taylor.
However, according to the incident, witnesses told officials that Mr Bliss would often fight with neighbours about their pets.
The incident report described him as a “troublemaker” and a “hothead”.
Mr Bliss is being held in the Marion county jail and will appear in court at the end of November.
“We’re just shocked that something this minuscule could rise to something this devastating,” Sergeant Bloom said.