INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A 911 call from a motorist suspected of gunning down another driver late Thursday includes the man’s claim of self-defense. The audio was released by the Sheriff’s Office.
“I just shot somebody at the corner of State Road 60 and 53rd Avenue,” the man told dispatchers. “It was self defense.”
The shooting took place about 7 p.m. Thursday at the intersection, in front of Applebee’s. It was described as a possible road rage incident.
Upon arrival, deputies found the man’s body lying in the roadway next to his car. That man was identified as Dennis Wayne Hicks, 38, of Fort Pierce.
After the shooting, the suspect drove into a nearby parking lot and called 911, deputies said. He told dispatchers he was parked in a silver Mazda in the Jimmy John’s parking lot.
“I’m not making myself known because people are panicking,” the man told dispatchers.
He told dispatch he was driving with his window down when a man, later identified as Hicks, pulled over and they both looked at each other.
“He looked at me and said ‘what’s your problem’ and I told him I don’t have a problem,” the man told dispatchers. “He said ‘I’m going to put a bullet in your ass.'”
The man said Hicks reached for something, which is when the man pulled out his gun and fired.
The audio of the 911 from the shooter call was provided by the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies were in the process of searching Hicks’ and the suspect’s vehicles Friday, Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Thom Raulen said. Details on the findings were not available.
The shooter and a female passenger in his vehicle were interviewed by investigators and ultimately let go. The decision was made by deputies in conjunction with the State Attorney’s Office, Raulen said.
“With the totality of the circumstances, we determined it was not enough to make an arrest,” Raulen said. The Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the shooting.
Another 911 call from a father whose vehicle was struck four times by the gunfire also was released. The father was driving westbound on State Road 60 with his 3-year-old son.
The father said he was at the stoplight at Applebee’s when somebody started firing shots out of their vehicle.
“I’ve got a car full of bullet holes with my 3-year-old in it,” the father told dispatchers. The father described the suspect’s vehicle as silver with tinted windows.
He told dispatchers the shots sounded like fireworks.
The audio of the 911 call from the father was provided by the Sheriff’s Office.
Raulen said deputies commonly receive 911 calls about road rage, but they rarely end up with violence or death. He said if motorists experience road rage, the best thing to do is to leave the other vehicle.
“Turn away, slow down or do whatever it takes to get away from that vehicle,” Raulen said.
.Indian River County Sheriff's Office Spokesman Lt. Thom Raulen talks more about Thursday fatal road rage shooting at State Road 60 and 53rd Ave in IRC.
Posted by Nick Samuel on Friday, November 17, 2017
About 10 to 20 people gathered at State Road 60 near 53rd Avenue and saw the aftermath of the fatal shooting.
Motorist Carl Freitag said he drove past the scene about 7:30 p.m. and thought it was accident. He said he saw at least five law enforcement vehicles.
“They were taking the gurney off the ambulance when I drove by,” said Freitag, 61, who lives across the street on 55th Avenue. “I was looking for a smashed up car but didn’t fine one.”
Freitag, who has lived in the neighborhood for 13 years, said he didn’t expect it to be a fatal shooting and that he can’t remember any other shootings that have taken place in the area.
Another motorist, Wilkens Derival, said he was driving westbound on S. R. 60 when he passed by what he thought was an accident. Derival drove home and then walked with his brother across the street to the scene.
“We saw a person lying on the ground covered in a white sheet and people crying,” said Derival, 63, who lives across the road on 54th Street.
A man is dead after a possible road rage shooting at the State Road 60 and 53rd Ave intersection in IRC, deputies said. One person is in custody. Stay tuned.
Posted by Nick Samuel on Thursday, November 16, 2017
No further information was available.