SPRING HILL — David Gorski tried to stop his older brother from slapping their mother Wednesday night, but only drew his brother's anger toward himself.
When Christopher Gorski turned and walked toward him, he had a "look," David Gorski told deputies. That's when David pulled a .22-caliber handgun from his waistband and fired four shots into his brother's chest, according to a Hernando County Sheriff's Office report.
Christopher, who would have turned 25 Saturday, was airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where he died two hours later. David, 22, was arrested on a manslaughter charge. He was being held without bail Thursday at the Hernando County jail.
According to authorities, an argument between Christopher and his mother, Pamela Gorski, 48, broke out about 7 p.m. Wednesday at their home at 11358 Corrigan Drive.
After telling his brother to stop, David pulled out the pistol. When Christopher was about 5 feet away, David fired four shots. Neither brother said a word, the report states.
Neighbor Ray Corrigan said sheriff's cruisers have visited the house before to look into complaints about Christopher being violent toward his mother. Corrigan said he often observed marks on Pam Gorski's arms.
"At the snap of a finger, the guy would just start screaming at the top of his lungs at her," Corrigan said.
Corrigan said he also often heard Christopher yelling at his father, Mike Gorski, but seldom heard the father raise his voice in return.
"Mike's a nice guy, and he's not like that," Corrigan said. "But he sure put up with a lot of abuse from his kid."
State records show Christopher had a lengthy criminal record, starting with assorted drug charges at age 16. Court records list numerous arrests for driving violations and three arrests on domestic violence charges, including a previous attack on his mother.
In January 2006, authorities arrested Christopher for assault and battery after an argument with his mother. She had chided him for not turning the lights off when he left a room. He began to argue with her and threw water from a drinking glass on her saying, "This should cool you off."
Pam Gorski went to her bedroom and closed the door, but her son followed her and kicked it in, records state.
Christopher later pleaded guilty and received six months of probation and an order to attend anger management classes. Months later, he violated his probation and received two months in prison. It's unclear whether he ever attended the class.
In a request for a domestic violence injunction filed on the day of Christopher's arrest, Pam Gorski told authorities that her son "is verbally abusive" to family members.
"I feel the problem will escalate with terrible consequences," she wrote in her petition. A month later, a judge granted a one-year injunction to help prevent future violence.
But Christopher's temper apparently never waned. In the next year he was arrested twice after fights with his then-girlfriend Jennifer Bell. And his mother helped him fight for custody of the couple's son.
Court records indicate the boy, now 8, lives with her relatives in North Carolina. Christopher, who was 16 when Bell gave birth, wrote a letter to the judge in 2007 saying he loved his son "with all my heart and as soon as I get out of (jail) I plan to give him the world."
Harold Cherry, who has lived two houses away from the family for the past 13 years, said Thursday he often saw David walking the family Labrador retriever while riding on his skateboard.
"He was a real nice kid, always waving when he went by," Cherry said.
A background check of David yielded no evidence of prior criminal activity.
Prosecutor Don Barbee said he plans to charge David with manslaughter because the shooting lacked any premeditation or "evil intent" required for a murder charge. But he said he could still elevate the charge to second-degree murder, depending on what is discovered during the investigation.
Barbee said David's actions were an extreme remedy to stopping the slapping incident and did not rise to the level of self-defense, in which no charges would be filed.
Times staff writer Brant James contributed to this report. Logan Neill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1435. John Frank can be reached at jfrank@sptimes or (352) 754-6114.