Accused road-rage suspect says attack prompted fatal shooting in Melbourne

Man says Melbourne salesman, shooting victim attacked him first

Headline Goes Here Courtesy of Florida Today

William Sherwood, accused of the shooting and killing John Pratt in a road rage incident, is now claims that Pratt attacked him first.

MELBOURNE, Fla. - William Sherwood, accused of the shooting and killing John Pratt, 64, in a road rage incident, says that Pratt attacked him first.

Sherwood remains in Brevard County jail on $300,000 bond for second-degree murder told police that the he shot the Melbourne car salesman "because the victim attacked him," Florida Today reports.

Witnesses said that though Pratt seemed agitated, "the victim did not have a weapon, appear aggressive or attack the defendant," the police report says.

The deadly incident began on Saturday, on Babcock Street near Apollo Boulevard, where reports say Sherwood was driving a 2005 Toyota car behind Pratt in a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica SUV. Sherwood was driving aggressively and tailgating Pratt, the report says.

"Witness statements described the victim alter his speed and lane as if to allow the defendant to pass him; however, the defendant continued to follow behind the victim, blowing the horn," the report says.

Near Babcock Street and Brevard Avenue, Sherwood used his vehicle to hit the back of Pratt's SUV and push the SUV forward as Pratt tried to get out.

Pratt walked to the driver's side window of Sherwood's car, where police reports say Sherwood rolled down the window several inches and fired two shots from a handgun, striking Pratt's torso.

Sherwood handed over the gun to a witness who asked what happened and waited for police to arrive. Pratt died of his injuries at Holmes Regional Medical Center.

Sherwood is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on May 2.

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