for immediate release
April 17, 2003

N E W S   R E L E A S E

A Niceville woman is dead after a domestic violence shooting outside a pre-school this morning (Thursday morning). The victim, Laurie A. Barnicoat, age 40 (2-6-1963) was taken to Twin Cities Hospital where she was later pronounced dead. Ms. Barnicoat was apparently confronted by her ex-husband, Ronald James Barnicoat, in the parking lot of "La Petite Academy", in Merchants Walk, 4400 East Highway 20, Niceville, as she dropped her children off a few minutes before 8:00 this morning (Thursday morning).

Witnesses reported screams and gunshots in the facility's parking lot. Officer Pat Sinon of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who was elsewhere in the Merchants Walk complex, heard the altercation and was first on the scene. He detained the suspect without incident. None of the more than 40 children inside the pre-school at the time were injured or in physical danger.

Ronald Barnicoat has been transported to the Okaloosa County Jail in Crestview, where he is being held on an open count of Murder.

The Barnicoats are divorced and resided separately in the Niceville area.

Parents needing assistance in talking with their children about the incident, or dealing with problems related to the trauma of the experience, may contact the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office Victim Advocate Center at 651-7292.


for more information contact Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420