A 34-year-old man picked the wrong victim Friday night when police said he approached a pizza delivery driver with robbery in mind.
Just before midnight, Fredrick Kelly Jr., 34, of Melbourne was shot and killed after he threatened a Domino’s Pizza employee with a knife in a West Melbourne Days Inn parking lot, 4500 W. New Haven, according to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
After Byron Park, 54, of Palm Bay made a delivery to the hotel and returned to his vehicle, he was confronted with a demand for money, according to a release.
Park responded by shooting Kelly once in the upper torso with a handgun. Authorities said Park had a weapons permit necessary to carry the handgun in his vehicle.
Saturday afternoon, investigators believed Park’s actions were justified to protect himself.
“Preliminary evidence at the scene points toward this being a self-defense situation,” said Maj. Tod Goodyear of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. “He was protecting his life. The guy had a deadly weapon and was going to kill him if he didn’t give his money up.”
The case remains under investigation pending an autopsy.
“We have to make sure the information that was provided to us and what we see at the scene is consistent with the autopsy and it all adds up,” Goodyear said.
In 2001, Kelly was sentenced to 10 years in prison for three counts of armed robbery and was released in 2009, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.
Investigators believe the pizza driver was a random target of convenience after fulfilling a legitimate delivery at the hotel.
“The people who ordered the pizza had nothing to do with it,” Goodyear said. “That was just a coincidence.”
Attempts on Saturday to learn more from Domino’s officials about the company’s policy on armed drivers were unsuccessul.