APOLLO BEACH, Fla. - In a home video he recorded the day he died, John Gallick accuses the Southshore Falls Homeowner's Association of harassing him.
"We are filing lawsuits against the homeowners association here," he says.
Some neighbors of the Apollo Beach subdivision knew Gallick as a harmless man who suffered from chronic mental illness, unpopular with neighbors who disapproved of his eccentric behavior.
"People didn't like him, but just leave him alone," said Nancy Sanney, who lives down the street from Gallick's home. "They just tormented him down there."
Sanney and other neighbors brought Gallick food and other necessities after his power was shut off. They helped him apply for food stamps and tried to secure mental health care for him.
Other neighbors disagreed with that approach. In an HOA court filing aimed to have him kicked out of the neighborhood, Gallick is accused of verbal threats, bathing in his driveway, and letting his dog defecate in the middle of the road.
It's the kind of erratic behavior deputies believe led to his death, when Gallick charged at another neighbor Thursday night, knife in hand.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, David Cockerham was walking his dog in front of Gallick's home when the dog knocked over a sign. Gallick raced out of his house, yelling profanities, and waved a butterfly knife at Cockerham, threatening to cut his throat. Cockerham shot Gallick dead.
Some call it self-defense. Others call it a set-up.
"This guy is not a danger," said neighbor Barbara Baker.
Baker also brought food to Gallick. She admits he could sound crazy, but had a good heart. She and other friends of Gallick's noticed tension rising between him and other neighbors. Still, they never expected it to end like this.
Some residents admit they are scared of other neighbors now, unsure what will happen to those who supported Gallick.
"For a month and a half, I'd say he's lived in hell because of the neighbors over there," said Valerie Yarnall. "I think the anger just started growing and growing. To have somebody walking a dog with a gun?"
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