NR 17-49 Unincorporated Cocoa Shooting Victim Dies; Suspect Commits Suicide
At approximately 10:47 a.m. the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 emergency call from a residence on Atoka Court, unincorporated Cocoa, indicating that a person had been shot. Deputies arrived to find a female victim with multiple gunshots in the residence. The female was taken from the residence and driven by a deputy to meet with medical personnel who transported her to a local hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries.
The victim is identified as 54-year-old, Amy Mitchell of Atoka Court, unincorporated Cocoa and the suspect is identified as 73-year-old, Edward Douglas Ratcliffe of Georgia. After the shooting took place in Cocoa, Ratcliffe then traveled to St. Johns County where he committed suicide.
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. 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.
Sheriff’s Office Homicide agents were contacted by the St. John’s Sheriff’s Office, who advised that a subject had called emergency 911, advising that he had killed his step-daughter and was going to commit suicide. St. John’s County deputies responded to the area described by Ratcliffe, who upon seeing deputies approach, turned a firearm on himself, taking his own life.
Based on evidence collected at the scenes and comments provided by Ratcliffe, the agents consider Ratcliffe as the only person responsible for the victim’s death.
Crime Scene Investigators have concluded processing the scene at the Atoka residence and are coordinating the collection of evidence at the suicide scene with investigators from the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office.
Anyone who may have information about this investigation is asked to please call Agent Nick Walker of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, Homicide Unit, at 321-633-8413 or CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477). All calls to CRIMELINE are confidential and the caller may remain anonymous.
For additional information concerning this News Release, please call PIO Tod Goodyear of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office at 321-501-7594.