A 67-year-old woman in Interlachen, Florida, fatally shot an armed intruder who forced his way into her home early Wednesday morning.
According to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responding to the scene found the intruder, identified as 64-year-old Reginald Best, suffering from a gunshot wound and transported him to the hospital where he later died.
The homeowner reported to the deputies that she had heard the front door handle shaking and, assuming it was her husband returning from work, opened the door. However, she was confronted by the armed intruder who had forced his way into her home, prompting her to use lethal force in self-defense.
The homeowner, who was armed with a gun, recounted to deputies that she had repeatedly ordered Best to leave her premises. According to her statement, Best then lifted both of his arms, revealing a firearm in his hand. Fearing for her life, the homeowner discharged her weapon once and immediately dialed 911.
Only in Florida…
The authorities had previously received multiple erratic phone calls from Best and another individual at the same address. In one call, Best had informed dispatchers that he was concealing himself from his neighbors while also claiming that there were orange-clad individuals outside his residence. The other caller relayed that Best had absconded through a window carrying a firearm and had fled down the street. Deputies had already been dispatched to respond to these reports when the fatal shooting occurred.
“Gator” DeLoach said, “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. 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.”