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Plant City father, arrested in fatal shooting of son on Christmas, had shot him once before

Guy Vickery, 82, of Plant City, fatally shot his son during an argument on Christmas night, investigators said. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
Guy Vickery, 82, of Plant City, fatally shot his son during an argument on Christmas night, investigators said. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
Published Dec. 26, 2018

PLANT CITY — A long-simmering family feud came to a deadly ending when an 82-year-old Plant City man fatally shot his son during an argument on Christmas night, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies responded to a 911 call from a home at 2727 South Forbes Road by a caller who said Guy Vickery shot his son in the upper body during an argument, the Sheriff's Office said. The son, 50-year-old Benjamin Vickery, died at South Florida Baptist Hospital in Plant City.

Guy Vickery, who lives at the home, acknowledged he fired the fatal shot, according to an arrest affidavit. He was arrested at the Sheriff's Office about 5:45 a.m. Wednesday on a charge of manslaughter with a weapon — a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

An arrest affidavit gave this account of the incident:

Just before 9:30 p.m., Benjamin Vickery began arguing with his father and a witness. Guy Vickery went upstairs to his bedroom and grabbed a gun while the witness, who is not named in the affidavit, watched Benjamin Vickery flee into a back room. He said his father had a gun.

The witness heard a gunshot then saw Benjamin Vickery laying face down on the floor.

Guy Vickery was being held at the Hillsborough County Jail with no bail set.

The father and son had a stormy relationship marred by an earlier shooting 18 years ago, according to court records and a neighbor, Brent Register, who spoke with the Tampa Bay Times.

Both father and son were "smart, intelligent men" who "squabbled," said Register, 66. The two worked as machinists and were sought after by mining companies for their expertise, Register said.

He said he was unaware of the nature of their feud.

In February 2000, the father shot his son in the shoulder during a fight, the Sheriff's Office reported at the time.

Guy Vickery, then 63, was getting into his car to leave his son's home when Benjamin Vickery, then 31, opened the car door and began to kick and punch his father, the Sheriff's Office said.

Guy Vickery, who was living in St. Petersburg at the time, took out a .45-caliber pistol and shot his son in the left shoulder, the Sheriff's Office said.

Benjamin Vickery, whose address at the time was the home on 2727 South Forbes Rd.. was treated at South Florida Baptist Hospital and released. He was charged with one count of false imprisonment, one count of battery and domestic violence, and one count of burglary of a vehicle.

Guy Vickery acted in self-defense and was not charged, the Sheriff's Office said then.

Charges against the son eventually were dropped, according to court records.

Around the same time, a relative named Patricia Vickery tried to get an injunction for protection against Guy Vickery but the effort apparently was dropped within a few days, according to court records.

Contact Howard Altman at haltman@tampabay.com or (813) 225-3112. Follow @haltman

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