Florida Man Allegedly Shot His Neighbor After Their Cat Wandered Into His Yard

Toby Hazlewood

He had a history of threatening neighbors with his gun

A Florida man was arrested and charged with second-degree homicide this week, after shooting one of his neighbors twice with a .22 rifle.

Clifton Anthony Bliss Jr. was apprehended by Marion County Sheriffs after the altercation which started when the victims cat had wandered onto Mr Bliss' property. He

The victim has been identified as James Arland Taylor Jr.

Mr Taylor had pleaded with Mr Bliss, not to shoot the cat, but he didn't expect that his neighbour would actually turn the gun on him, before shooting him twice. Mr Taylor died of his injuries.

A history of threats

According to others in the neighborhood, Mr Bliss had a history of threatening those who lived nearby. He was variously described as a "troublemaker" and a "hot head". Armed with his gun he had threatened people over their pets in the past.

While Mr Bliss reportedly phoned his wife and told her that Mr Taylor had assaulted him prior to the shooting, the police don't believe his account. In a written report of the incident, Cpl. J. Lightle of the Sheriffs Department recorded that Mr Bliss was known to "instigate fights with members of the community."

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Clifton Anthony Bliss JrMarion County Sheriffs Department

Ongoing gun-crime in Florida

The tragic shooting is just the latest in a number of similar crimes in Florida. Earlier this month, 23-old Sonja Stahl was shot and killed in Ocala after a man opened fire on a gun that she was inside - in the midst of an altercation involving another man and a woman.

In Florida as a whole, there have been 4 deaths and 13 injuries related to guns in the month of October so far. It's a tragic number, even if somewhat low compared to states like Texas that have seen 11 deaths and 11 injuries due to guns.

The cause of the crime in the case of the shooting involving Clifton Anthony Bliss Jr is what makes this crime so senseless though. Many who are more in favor of gun-control measures will point to this as a reason why guns shouldn't be so widely and easily available in the state.

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