A dispute between neighbors turned deadly on Wednesday in Umatilla in Central Florida.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said Cliffton Anthony Bliss Jr., 58, was charged with second-degree homicide, accused of shooting his neighbor over a pet issue.
According to the police report, sheriff’s detectives went to a home on a reported shooting. A woman at the home told them the suspect came to their door with a firearm and threatened to shoot their cat, which had apparently wandered onto Bliss’ property.
The woman, who is not named, said the victim, James Arland Taylor Jr., 41, searched for the animal in Bliss’ front yard, while the enraged homeowner followed him around.
After Taylor asked Bliss why he would want to hurt the cat and ordered him to leave his property, the suspect shot his neighbor “at least once” in the chest, according to the police report. The wound proved fatal.
The “defendant did enter the victim’s family’s property, uninvited and armed with a rifle, and did instigate a confrontation that led to the murder of the victim,” the report said.
Following their investigation, detectives arrested Bliss, who is being held without bail.