(L)William T. Woodward, 44, is accused of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in the early Monday incident. (R)Police identified the victim of a shooting in Titusville on Sept. 3, 2012 as as Gary Lee Hembree, 39.
By Andrew Ford and Stacey Barchenger, FLORIDA TODAY
A Titusville man accused of fatally shooting a man as the result of ongoing disputes in their neighborhood is expected to appear in court this afternoon.
William T. Woodward, 44, is accused of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in the early Monday incident. He is being held in jail and will make an initial appearance in court this afternoon.
Police identified the man who died as Gary Lee Hembree, 39. In addition, Roger Picior, 44, and Bruce Timothy Blake, 49, were each shot multiple times. They were taken to the hospital by helicopter with serious injuries.
The alleged shooter is the brother of Titusville Fire Chief Michael Woodward.
Titusville Police Maj. Todd Hutchinson said that police believe William Woodward had prior military experience and was wearing camouflaged clothing at the time of the shooting.
Police responded numerous times to an ongoing dispute between the men, according to a news release. Officials said they made attempts to mediate between the neighbors, including offering to host meetings at the police department.
Court records show five cases filed last month involving Woodward and his neighbors, including cases that involve both Hembree and Picior. Records show in three of the cases, Woodward was the one seeking an injunction against neighbors.
Woodward and Hembree went to court to discuss the dispute before Judge John D. Moxley on Aug. 29. Several Titusville police officers were subpoenaed and attended the court hearing but weren't called upon by the judge, according to a release and court records.
The request for an injunction was dismissed, records show.
Then, just five days later, the situation escalated, police said.
"It just got out of hand," said Joann Roy, a neighbor. "I can't understand the problem that they had that lead up to a shooting."
At about 12:30 a.m., Woodward allegedly shot Hembree with a 9mm handgun while the man was standing in his own yard at in the 1900 block of Smith Drive, according to a press release. Police said he died at the scene. Hembree had been having a barbecue with other neighbors in his yard, officials said.
Woodward shot Picior and Blake in another Smith Drive yard, police said. Investigators believe Hembree was heckling Woodward earlier that evening, yelling insults as part of an ongoing dispute, police said.
"It's not uncommon to have neighborhood disputes, unfortunately this ended very tragically," Hutchinson said.
Police said they think Woodward reloaded his handgun during the shooting. He waited for officers to arrive and surrendered at the scene.
Larry Mauldin, a nearby neighbor, woke up to the sound of a gunshot.
"I got up and looked out my window and heard another six or seven go off," he said.