People around Curtis Traylor’s Fort Lauderdale-area neighborhood, north of Broward Boulevard and west of Interstate 95, knew 51-year-old Gary Peterson.
Several relatives lived nearby and Peterson sometimes stayed with them or others. He had a drug abuse problem, washed cars and did other menial tasks for money. So there was recognition as much as surprise Wednesday morning as neighbors passed the word that he was fatally shot when he tried to break into Traylor’s home, 530 NW 30th Ter.
A neighbor who lives across the street said Peterson broke in with a fake gun. There was a fight. Traylor had a real gun.
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, a masked Peterson tried to get into Traylor’s home. He forced his way inside while holding “what appeared to be a firearm,” deputies said.
The fight continued inside. Traylor got his gun and got off one shot. Peterson was dead when BSO deputies arrived at 3:31 a.m. Wednesday.
"I've known him since high school," the neighbor said. "He was always doing crazy stuff like that."
The last two of Peterson’s many convictions involved possession of flakka, both in 2015. The three most recent before that involed cocaine possession. Traylor has a similar string of convictions, including four for cocaine possession from 2012 through 2014, one for flakka possession in February, 2015 and one for oxy possession in March, 2015.