In the quiet Southshore Falls community, 52-year-old John Gallik stuck out, but for all the wrong reasons. Starting with his house, which was a far cry from the well-manicured homes surrounding it, neighbors say it was constantly a mess. We found frisbees scattered on the roof and a large fridge sitting oddly outside the front door.
Gallik was also known to act strangely -- so much so that an injunction was filed against him by the HOA, claiming he did things like wear a sign reading 'Death to Southshore Falls.'
The lawsuit says he also ran a generator outside because he didn't have power and he verbally attacked his neighbors.
"I was scared to death just looking at him in the driveway, saying this is a time bomb ready to go off," said neighbor Kathleen Mateyak.
Thursday night around 6 o'clock, that supposed time bomb exploded. Deputies say Gallik got into argument with a neighbor, David Cockerham who was walking his dog. They accidentally knocked over Gallik's sign, which was blocking the sidewalk.
"He came outside, was cursing at this individual, and at some point pulled out what we call a butterfly knife," said Larry McKinnon with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies say he started thrusting the knife at Cockerhan. Fearing for his life, he pulled out a gun and fired. Gallik was hit once and died at the scene.
"In any point that you are under attack and you feel like your life is threatened, you have a right to defend yourself," McKinnon stated.
Investigators say the case looks like self-defense, so no charges have been filed.
"I think the community will move on. You can't obsess about this stuff. I'm just very disappointed it happened here," added Mateyak.
The case will go before the state attorney for the final review.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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