Holly Hill, FL – A dispute over a dog this afternoon (September 12) caused Holly Hill Police to shut down for a short time. Officers responded to a shooting complaint on Montgomery Street near Flomich Street at 1:10 p.m. As a precaution, the school was on lock down briefly.
Officers charged 25-year-old Eric Neely with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he admitted to shooting at the victim’s, James Blich, vehicle as he was driving away with his dog. Neely had been taking care of the dog because Blich lived somewhere where he could not have the dog.
Both the suspect and the victim tell the same story about how the shooting took place. Neely had gotten the pit bull mix from a man they both identified as “Charlie.” Blich had asked “Charlie” to take care of his dog and passed the dog along to Neely about six months ago. Blich would come to visit the dog and bring food.
Today, Blich was at Neely’s home to visit the dog. Shortly thereafter, he loaded the dog in his truck. Neely told him he could not take the dog. Blich said he told Neely the dog was his and he was taking him. Blich drove to the dead-end of Montgomery Street and turned around. When he passed Neely’s residence, he saw Neely pointing and firing a handgun at his vehicle. He drove off quickly and called 9-1-1.
Police officers finished interviewing the victim and then talked to Neely and his brother. Neely admitted to the shooting but said he thought Blich was driving towards him and that’s why he fired.
Neely told the officers that his gun was under his mattress. After getting permission to search, they found a High Point .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun.
Neely is in the Volusia County Jail on a $10,000 bond.