Local News

Souring apparently led to shooting,

SEBRING - Edward Lee Dazey, 71, didn't like it when someone told him he couldn't do something he wanted to do. And apparently he didn't like it when his directly across-the-street neighbor, Robert Hugh Delaney, 85, told him he couldn't visit anymore by getting a restraining order. Delaney was tired of hearing endless stories from when Dazey was a prison guard about black men and white men having relationships in prison. Delaney also apparently told Dazey he couldn't ride a vehicle in nearby orange groves. All that led to Dazey walking over to Delaney's house with a double barreled shotgun, shooting Delaney and then returning to his residence. He then killed himself.
That information was included in the Highland County Sheriff's Office's case report for the incident, which was made public after the case was formally closed this week. Neighbors told investigators that Dazey and Delaney lived as neighbors on Cindy's Lane for about two years and that apparently the relationship between them soured over time. One neighbor "remembered a time he was helping Delaney out at the end of his driveway and Edward came by and Delaney and Edward stared each other down," the case report said. "(The man) said no words were spoken, but 'if looks could kill, they both would be dead,'" the report said. Actions that could have resulted in both dying occurred on April 27, 2013. It was about 6:58 p.m. when dispatchers got a call from Susan Dazey, the wife of Edward Dazey, saying that her husband "advised her he was going to shoot the neighbor," the report said. As deputies headed toward the scene, Susan Dazey told dispatchers she heard a shot and that her husband had returned to the residence, the report said. Several deputies arrived at the Dazey property and noticed Susan Dazey was outside. One deputy saw Edward Dazey walking around with a gun and pointing a gun at another deputy, the report said. Edward Dazey apparently then went inside and shot himself in the head, the report said. After that, deputies headed toward Delaney's residence. Delaney apparently thought that Dazey was returning to kill him. As a deputy approached, Delaney said, "You won this time. I'm dead," the report said. Weeks later, when Delaney had recovered sufficiently to talk with an investigator, he said that "Edward was always telling him about when he was a prison guard how the black guys were always having sex with the white guys and Delaney would tell him every time he did not want to listen to that. Delaney confirmed he had Edward trespassed from his property this past February because he was tired of Edward riding through his orange groves and listening to him about things he saw when he was a prison guard," the report said. Delaney said that on the day he was shot, Dazey came to his front door and told him "he was going blow his brains out," the report said. Delaney also asked the deputy whether Dazey was dead and said he was afraid of Dazey, the report added. A son-in-law of Dazey and his wife told authorities that Edward Dazey "could be very mean at times," and that his temper resulted in him being demoted while working in the Department of Corrections, the report said. The son-in-law said that Dazey "did not like being told no or he could not do something," the report added. Susan Dazey told deputies that earlier in the day her husband went over to Delaney's residence, supposedly to resolve differences between the two. When her husband returned home, he sat for about an hour and "the more he seemed to dwell on the situation with Robert, the angrier he became," the wife told authorities. Then he got his shotgun and headed out the door saying "he was going to take care of the situation because he'd had enough," the report said. jmeisel@highlandstoday.com (863) 386-5834