Police: Man shot, killed in road rage incident in Melbourne

Traffic fight leads to man's death; 911 calls released

Published On: Mar 30 2013 02:49:48 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 01 2013 10:41:44 PM EDT
John Pratt
MELBOURNE, Fla. -

Melbourne police have released the 911 calls on Monday in the fatal shooting Saturday morning, which police say is an apparent case of road rage at a busy intersection.

[AUDIO: 911 calls released | Warning, content may be graphic]

General Manager Bob DiGiacomo said John Pratt, 54, a sales manager at Boniface Hires Kia in Brevard County, was just doing his job, test driving a customer's car, when he pulled out of the dealership around 9:30 a.m.

"He has a set route that he would go, a couple miles up the road and around," said DiGiacomo. "Usually, it would take no more than two or three minutes."

According to police, Pratt crossed paths with another driver, 54-year-old William Sherwood.

Police are describing this as a road rage incident that lasted for half a mile, and apparently ended with a fender-bender at the intersection of Babcock Street and Brevard Drive, with Sherwood rear-ending the SUV Pratt was driving.

"The driver of the front car got out to approach the driver of the back car, and started yelling at him and the driver of the back car shot him twice," the caller told the dispatcher in the 911 calls.

Police said Pratt was outside of the SUV when he was shot to death.

Sherwood faces charges of second-degree homicide and was transported to the Brevard County Jail.  As of Monday, he was being held on $300,000 bond.

Pratt had been selling cars since 1972 and was getting ready to retire, according to DiGiacomo.

"When you hear of road rage, you think of two people arguing on the street, but there's no such thing as road rage with John Pratt," said DiGiacomo. "In all the time I've known him, I've never heard him raise his voice, not once."

Neighbors of Sherwood describe him as "mild-mannered," "laid back" and caring.

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