Deputies: Suspect in fatal shooting commits suicide

- Authorities in Brevard County say a suspect in a fatal shooting which happened Thursday morning has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Deputies with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office responded to a home on Atoka Court in Canaveral Groves around 11 a.m., where they discovered a woman had been shot multiple times.  That woman, identified 53-year-old Amy Williams, was taken to a local hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries. 

Deputies searched for a gunman and evidence as to why the woman was shot in her home during the middle of the day.  Investigator later identified the suspect as 73-year-old, Edward Douglas Ratcliffe, of Georgia. After the shooting took place, Ratcliffe then traveled to St. Johns County where he committed suicide, detectives said.

"The investigation has revealed that Ratcliffe, who is the ex- stepfather of the victim, drove from his residence in Georgia earlier this morning to the victim’s residence to kill her," said Brevard County Sheriff's Office spokesman Tod Goodyear.  "Ratcliffe was once married to the victim’s mother and blamed the victim for the resulting divorce. It appears that Ratcliffe confronted the victim inside her residence where he shot her multiple times before leaving the area." 

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office was later contacted by the St. John’s Sheriff’s Office, who informed them that Ratcliffe had called 911, confessing to them that he had killed his step-daughter and was going to commit suicide.  St. John’s County deputies responded to the call and located Ratcliffe, who upon seeing deputies approach, turned a firearm on himself, taking his own life.

 

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