Two neighbors in a small central Florida town are dead after one allegedly shot the other and then shot himself over an apparent dispute regarding a flood light, according to law enforcement reports.
On Monday, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a shooting on Fishermans Road in the small town of Paisley, Florida around 12:30 p.m. local time. Once there, deputies determined that it appeared as though one neighbor had allegedly shot and killed another, only to then turn the gun on himself.
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According to WESH 2 News, the sheriff’s office investigators determined the two neighbors had reportedly been involved in a long-standing dispute over a flood light that had been simmering since October. It boiled over this week, when officers found 59-year-old Timothy Patch dead from gunshot wounds in the driveway of his house.
A neighbor across the street named Gary Moran recounted the situation to the local news outlet, telling reporters:
“All I know is I went out the side door I heard ‘bang, bang, bang’ three times.”
As officers continued their investigation on scene, they walked to the backyard of the neighboring house, where they found 61-year-old Eric Martin Hilderbrand dead in a chair from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Lt. Fred Jones of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office relayed the finding of Hilderbrand’s body to the media, explaining:
“The shooter himself had made his way to his backyard where he apparently took his own life.”
Hilderbrand had reportedly been living with his sister at the time. She was home at the time of the shooting, but not hurt and apparently not involved in the incident.
Lt. Jones further reported that the tragic double shooting appears to have happened because of an ongoing dispute involving a flood light allegedly from Patch’s property that had been shining brightly at night into Hilderbrand’s bedroom. The law enforcement official explained:
“It appears as though [the dispute] was over a security light or flood light and according to neighbors and our interviews, the light was so bright, it was going into what is the shooter’s [Hilderbrand’s] bedroom. And so, this is something that’s been going on since October and I guess today it just finally came to a clash. I think in terms of just the holidays and this is what’s going to be remembered on the holidays, so you know it’s sad, and it could have been avoided.”
The neighbor, Moran, says both men were relatively new to the neighborhood — each having moved into their respective houses within the last year.
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The sheriff’s office told local news outlets that there had been no calls on file coming from either address regarding any criminal complaints. It appears as though the county’s Code Enforcement division was contacted about the flood light at some point back in October, but it’s unclear what came out of that action.
Here’s more on this tragedy, from WESH 2 News (below):
Such senseless, needless violence.
[Image via WESH 2 News/YouTube]