Georgia man fatally shoots ex-stepdaughter, kills self, deputies say

Suspect said victim was to blame for divorce

COCOA, Fla. – A 73-year-old man drove from Georgia to unincorporated Cocoa on Thursday morning to fatally shoot a woman who was once his stepdaughter because he blamed her for his divorce, then shot himself after driving to St. Johns County, according to the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said Edward Douglas Ratcliffe arrived at the Atoka Court home of Amy Mitchell, 54, and shot her multiple times at 10:47 a.m., WKMG-TV reports.

Mitchell was airlifted to an area hospital where she died from her injuries.

Ratcliffe fled the scene of the shooting to St. Johns County, where he called 911 and told the operator that he had just killed his stepdaughter and was planning to kill himself, according to a news release.

Deputies said Ratcliffe, 73, fatally shot himself as authorities were attempting to approach him.

Ratcliffe was once married to Mitchell's mother and he killed Mitchell because he believed she was the reason for his divorce, officials said.

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).

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