Neighbors Quarrel Gets Ends with Apollo Beach Man Shot

The question of gun safety along with the often controversial topic of taking matters into ones own had, surfaced once again following an incident last month that left one Apollo Beach man dead.

After working through the crime scene, conducting numerous interviews and collecting evidence, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, homicide detectives concluded that on Thursday, October 18, 2012 at approximately 6 pm, Apollo Beach resident David Cockerham of 110 Silver Falls Drive was out walking his dog along the sidewalk on Silver Falls Drive.

Detectives said that while passing the front of his neighbor John Gallik’s residence, at 119 Silver Falls Drive, Cockerham’s dog became startled and knocked over a sign that was partially blocking the sidewalk.

As Cockerham, 68, attempted to move the sign out of the way and control his pet, Gallik, 53, came out of his home and began yelling profanities and subsequently charging toward Cockerham, detectives said.
As it was also reported, Cockerham took a step backwards in order to create distance when suddenly Gallik retrieved a butterfly knife from his right pocket, and apparently elevating the confrontation or their dissagreement to a whole new level.
Gallik reportedly then began thrusting and waving the knife towards Cockerham while threatening to cut Cockerham’s throat.
What Gallik did not realize that his choice of weapon did not match his fight and as he continued waving the knife, he again charged at Cockerham, who in fear for his life retrieved a 38 caliber revolver from his right front pocket and fired a single round towards Gallik.
Gallik was struck in the upper torso and died at the scene, detectives said.

Cockerham immediately contacted 911 and waited at the scene for deputies to arrive but was not charged with any crime and has since been released pending the completion of the investigation and a final ruling by the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office, which according to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Larry McKinnon, may take several weeks.

For more information please visit www.hcso.tampa.fl.us.