New info released about land dispute that left 2 brothers dead in Plant City

PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – Deputies in Hillsborough County have released new information on a shooting that left two brothers dead and another man injured over the weekend in Plant City.

On Saturday, the sheriff’s office was called to Varn Road around 1:50 p.m. Deputies found 62-year-old Milton and 66-year-old Perry Varn dead of gunshot wounds.

Another man, 71-year-old George Long, had a gunshot wound to his shoulder and was taken to Tampa General Hospital.

Joanne Varn, 61, was also on-scene, and was not injured.

According to investigators, Milton Varn shot Perry Varn, then shot George Long, before threatening to shoot Joanne Varn. Joanne feared for her life, and deputies said she shot Milton in defense.

The Varn family is well known in Plant City.

Tom Kendrick grew up near their property and respected Milton and Perry’s father, Ed Varn.

“As a kid, I remember growing up, Mr. Varn was the guy, he was the cowboy that we all wanted to be like,” said Kendrick.

Kendrick said Ed Varn worked very hard to expand the family property.

“His values were pretty simple. It’s your family, he believed in God and he worked hard on that ranch,” said Kendrick.

Like many, Kendrick was shocked by news of the family shooting.

“It’s a sad deal for all involved,” said Kendrick.

At Lawson’s Hardware, the Varn family was well known to all.

“I liked ’em and I thought a lot of all of them,” said owner Carolyn Lawson.

Milton Varn shopped in her store the day of the shooting, but she said he didn’t act any differently on that day, just hours before the shooting.

“They were special people and it just troubles me to know that something like this has happened,” said Lawson.


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