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67-year-old woman fatally shoots armed man who barged into her home. Sheriff calls it 'perfect example' of why he fights for citizens' rights to 'own firearms.'

Photo by MARCO LONGARI/AFP via Getty Images

A 67-year-old Florida woman fatally shot an armed man who barged into her home early Wednesday morning, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said.

What's more, the sheriff called it a "perfect example" of why he fights for citizens' rights to "own firearms."

What are the details?

The Interlachen homeowner told deputies she heard her front door handle shaking around 3 a.m. and went to investigate, officials said. Interlachen is around 80 minutes south of Jacksonville.

She told deputies she thought it might be her husband returning from work, officials said, so she opened the door — and that's when the intruder forced his way into her home.

But the woman took an important precaution: she brought a gun with her to the door.

After the man barged in, the woman told him multiple times to get out, the sheriff's office said. Instead, the man raised his arms, and that's when the woman said she saw he had a gun in his hand as well.

Fearing for her life, the sheriff's office said the woman shot the intruder once, and then she called 911.

When deputies arrived at the home, they found 64-year-old Reginald Best lying on the floor and bleeding from a single gunshot wound, officials said, adding that Best was taken to a local hospital, where he died.

What else?

The sheriff's office added that prior to the shooting, deputies got several calls from Best and a different female and that during one of the calls Best told dispatchers he was hiding from his neighbors and there were people in orange standing outside his residence.

That other female told dispatchers in a different call that Best jumped out a window at his residence with a gun and ran down the street. Deputies were on their way to answer those calls when the shooting occurred, officials said.

'She absolutely had the right to defend herself'

“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 in reaction to the shooting. “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.”

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