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Driver shot, killed in Indian River County road-rage incident; gunman claims self-defense

Posted at 9:06 PM, Nov 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-17 18:05:21-05

The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a deadly shooting that appeared to be the result of a road-rage incident. In a 911 call released Friday the self-admitted shooter claims self-defense. (LISTEN TO THE 911 CALL BELOW)

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After 7 p.m. Thursday, Lt. Thom Raulen said a driver opened fire on another driver, killing him near the intersection of State Road 60 and 53rd Avenue near a Walmart shopping plaza.

The victim was identified as 38-year-old Dennis Wayne Hicks of Fort Pierce. Jail records show Hicks had been arrested in Indian River County eight times since 2005. 

Raulen said the shooter, whose name has not been released, called 911 and stayed at the scene.

"I had my window down and this guy pulled over and he looked over at me. And I looked at him and he started, he said, 'What's your problem?' and I said I don't have a problem, 'do you have a problem?'  And he said, 'I'm going to put a bullet in your ass.' And then he reached for something and I had my gun and I opened fire on him," the man told a 911 operator.

On Thursday night, that man had been detained for questioning but was not arrested.

A female passenger in the shooter’s car was also questioned.

Raulen said witnesses described seeing the drivers of the two cars involved in some kind of altercation shortly before the shooting.

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Deputies described finding the victim’s car with a shattered window. His body was on the ground.

Raulen also said a stray bullet hit another car with a 3-year-old boy inside. No one in that car was injured.

“It’s very dangerous. I don’t know where on that vehicle that round struck but it could have very easily moved a matter of inches or feet and gone in the passenger compartment,” Raulen said.

Officials said the car of the victim, along with the car of the shooter, will be taken to the sheriff's office forensic services unit as part of the continuing investigation.

There's no word on any pending arrest or charges.

911 CALL