Charges in Vero Beach ‘road rage’ case expected soon

Charges in the Vero Beach road rage shooting may happen soon.
Charges in the Vero Beach road rage shooting may happen soon.

VERO BEACH – Charges in the November shooting on State Road 60 may happen very soon, according to a spokesperson for the State Attorney’s Office.

The “road rage” shooting that occurred in Vero Beach remains active, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Assistant State Attorney Steve Gosnell, the prosecutor assigned to the case, said a decision on charges will be made “sooner rather than later,” but wouldn’t comment on a date.

On Nov. 16, Dennis Wayne Hicks, 38, of Fort Pierce, was shot dead at State Road 60 and 53rd Avenue in Vero Beach.

The shooting suspect, Timothy Daniel Sartori, 29, of Sebastian, was driving alongside Hicks about 7 p.m. when he said Hicks threatened him and reached for something inside the vehicle.

Sartori grabbed a gun and fired several shots, killing Hicks in the front seat of his car.

Another vehicle driving in the opposite direction was hit with bullets, although neither the driver nor his 3-year-old son were injured.

After the shooting, Sartori pulled into a parking lot and dialed 911. A female passenger was in the front seat.

“I just shot somebody,” Sartori said calmly.

“You shot somebody?” the dispatcher asked.

“Yes, in self-defense,” he replied.

More: Man Killed During Road Rage Incident In Vero Beach

More: Name of Vero Beach Road Rage Shooter Released

Sartori and a female passenger were released after speaking with investigators for hours. No charges have been filed since November.

Sheriff Deryl Loar said his detectives “truly wanted to make an arrest” the night of the shooting, but the prosecutor assigned to the case told them they did not have enough evidence to prove that a crime had been committed.

“We had the guy in our interview room for hours, and we feel there should be some type of charge, possibly for recklessly discharging a firearm in public,” Loar said, adding, “We can’t condone someone just discharging a weapon the way he did.”

Loar said it wasn’t like it was one or two rounds, “It was 10 to 15 rounds. He emptied the gun.”

Sartori worked at Skydive Sebastian. According to Federal Aviation Administration records, he is a certified senior parachute rigger and someone who packs maintains and repairs parachutes.

DISCLAIMER: Arrests and mugshots were made public by complaint affidavits, arrest affidavits, and police reports. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty.

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About Jennifer Balakrishnan
Jennifer Balakrishnan lives in Vero Beach, Florida. She moved to Indian River County when she was 6-years-old. Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree at Florida State University. She writes our crime stories and is one of our food/restaurant critics.