Elderly Florida Woman Shoots & Kills Armed Intruder

Reginald Best, 64, of Interlachen, is dead after storming into a stranger’s home in Putnam County while armed and was shot and killed by the 67-year-old homeowner.

Putnam County deputies responded to Best’s home on Silver Lake Drive to investigate a disturbance. While en route to the house, a woman, who was identified as a witness, told Putnam dispatch that Best had jumped through a window of his home and ran down the street while holding a handgun.

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Reginald Best

According to the witness, Best believed he heard or saw unknown people in the woods or his vehicle near his home. She told dispatchers that she thought Best may have “been on something” because she did not see or hear anyone else.

Putnam County dispatchers say they had received “several erratic calls” from Best and another female at a nearby residence on Silver Lake Drive leading up to the shooting.

The post added that deputies were on the way to respond to those calls when the shooting occurred at the other home.

The woman told deputies that she heard the front door handle of her home shaking at around 3:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. She thought it was her husband coming home from work. The woman got out of bed, armed herself, and opened the door. When the door opened, best stormed in with a pistol in hand.

According to the Putnam Sheriff’s Office, “The woman who was armed with a firearm told Best to leave the residence multiple times.”

“The woman told deputies that Best raised up both arms, and she saw he had a firearm in his hand. Fearing for her life, she shot Best one time. After the shooting, she called 911.”

Before arriving at Best’s home, investigators said, deputies got a call about a person who was shot at a home not far from Best’s house and were diverted there.

Upon arrival, Deputies found best lying on the floor, bleeding from a single gunshot wound, with a silver revolver lying next to him. Best was taken to Putnam County Medical Center, where investigators said he later died from his injuries.

In a Facebook post, the Putnam County Sheriff’s office stated that,

“During one of the calls, Best had told dispatchers he was hiding from his neighbors, and there were people in orange standing outside his residence,” the post said. “In the call from the other female, she told dispatchers Best had jumped out of the window at 172 Silver Lake Drive with a firearm and ran down the street.”

“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,” Putnam County Sheriff H.D. ‘Gator’ DeLoach said in a statement, adding that 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.

DeLoach said that the woman was not alone in the residence, which was also inhabited by her 90-year-old mother, an Alzheimer’s patient.

DeLoach said the woman “absolutely” had the “right to defend herself” and that her “decisive action stopped the threat” and made the neighborhood safer by eliminating the risk of further loss of life.

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No charges will be filed against the woman, investigators said.

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