Yesterday afternoon, a battalion of St Johns County deputies were converged on the parking lot in front of the BP gas station and convenience store on US-1, north of I-95. A Georgia man, who had just killed his former stepdaughter in Brevard County, was sitting in a parked Ford Focus threatening to commit suicide.
About 10:45 a.m., police in Cocoa discovered the body of 54-year-old Amy Mitchell with multiple gunshot wounds inside her residence on Atoka Court in Canaveral Groves. She later died from her injuries at a Brevard County hospital, according to Tod Goodyear, public information officer of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office
Authorities have identified 73-year-old Edward Douglas Ratcliffe of Cherrylog Georgia as Mitchell’s killer, and as the occupant of the vehicle with Georgia license plates that was located in St Augustine.
Police say Ratcliffe blamed his former stepdaughter for the break-up and divorce from Mitchell’s mother. He reportedly drove from Georgia earlier Thursday morning with the intention of killing her.
Through a mobile telephone call routed to the St Johns County 911-emergency call center, dispatchers were in communication with Ratcliffe who was “despondent” and threatening to take his own life. A report published on Flagler Live reported that officers had contact with the man and tried to talk him down, but were not successful.
“When our deputies tried to stop him, he shot himself.” local media contact Chuck Mulligan was quoted. Despite the overwhelming show of force on the ground, Mulligan added that there was “no threat to the public at all”.