PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida woman fatally shot an armed home intruder early Wednesday, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies said they found 64-year-old Reginald Best suffering from a single gunshot wound at a home in Interlachen. He was taken to a hospital where he died.
The homeowner, a 67-year-old woman, told deputies that she heard the front door handle shaking around 3 a.m. and went to investigate. She told deputies she thought it might be her husband returning from work so she opened the door. That’s when she said Best forced his way into the home.
The woman, who was armed with a gun, said she told Best to leave her home multiple times. She told deputies Best raised up both arms and she saw he had a gun in his hand.
Fearing for her life, the woman said she shot Best one time and then called 911.
Before the shooting, deputies said they received several erratic calls from Best and another woman at 172 Silver Lake Drive. During one of the calls, Best told dispatchers that he was hiding from his neighbors and there were people in orange standing outside his home. In a call from the other woman, she told dispatchers that Best had jumped out of the window with a gun and ran down the street. Deputies said they were en route to the calls when the shooting happened.
“This call for service is a perfect example of why I continue to support and fight daily for the rights of law abiding residents to own firearms,” Sheriff H.D. “Gator” DeLoach said. “All firearm owners have a responsibility not only to themselves, but also to their families to maintain proficiency with a gun, as our victim here today clearly has. If it were not for her foresight to arm herself, the outcome could have been much graver. It’s unfortunate that Best was struggling with some apparently profound issues and posed a deadly threat to the victim and her family. She absolutely had the right to defend herself and I’m grateful that her decisive action stopped the threat, and eliminated the risk of further loss of life, making her entire neighborhood safer.”