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Police: Florida man shoots neighbor to death after argument over cat

Police said he became angry when his neighbor's cat entered his property. He threatened to shoot the cat. The neighbor asked him not to so he shot the neighbor.
Credit: Marion County Sheriff's Office
Clifton Bliss is accused of shooting his neighbor to death after the neighbor's cat entered Bliss' property.

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — A Marion County man is in jail after police said he shot his neighbor to death after an argument over a cat. Clifton Bliss Jr. armed himself with a .22 caliber rifle before going to James Taylor Jr.'s home at about 10:20 a.m. Wednesday in Umatilla, a Marion County Sheriff's Office incident report states.

A witness who lives in the home with Taylor told investigators that Bliss knocked on the door and was holding a gun. Taylor went outside and Bliss asked him if he had a cat, the report states. Bliss then told Taylor he was going to shoot the cat. The witness said Taylor asked the suspect "why he would shoot an animal that he didn't eat," and then asked Bliss to leave his property.

Bliss then shot Taylor twice in the chest, the report states. The witness, who tried to resuscitate Taylor, told investigators there was no physical altercation before Bliss shot the victim, the report states.

The witness told police that Bliss went home and changed his pants and boots and came back to the Taylor's property. The incident report states that Bliss, 58, called his wife indicating there was an emergency and she needed to come home. Bliss' wife told investigators that the suspect told her Taylor beat him up over a cat so he had to shoot him, the report states.

When officer arrived on the scene, they found Taylor, 41, dead.

Investigators talked to several witnesses and other neighbors who stated Bliss has several run ins with people in the area in the past about dogs and cats. They also said Bliss was known to be armed during those altercations, the report states.

Bliss is being held in the Marion County jail without bond charged with murder.

Credit: Marion County Sheriff's Office
Clifton Bliss is accused of shooting his neighbor to death after the neighbor's cat entered Bliss' property.