A Florida gunman kicked down a door at a Land O' Lakes home Saturday afternoon — apparently angry at a family for supporting and protecting his estranged wife amid divorce proceedings — but the gunman was met by the homeowner, who also was armed, WTSP-TV reported.
What happened next?
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said the gunman — 55-year-old Ronald Fleet — exchanged fire with the homeowner and then exited the home, the station said.
But Fleet then "starts charging" back into the house, Nocco told WTSP, after which the homeowner fatally shot him.
Deputies responded around 12:30 p.m. to the home in the Sunset Lakes subdivision, where Fleet was pronounced dead, the station said.
"He was defending himself and his family," Nocco said of the homeowner. "Any loss of life is tragic, but the victim was utilizing his Second Amendment rights to protect himself and his family from the fear of Ronald who was carrying a gun, kicking in a door, trying to harm them. I can't imagine the fear that they were going through, but I'm very happy [about] the fact that he was able to defend himself ..."
The sheriff added that Fleet was carrying a .380 caliber handgun and that the state attorney's office will review the case.
Nocco also said Fleet's estranged wife was trying to get out of a "horrific marriage." Records show Fleet had prior arrests for domestic battery and driving under the influence, WTSP reported.
'I do not want to think what would have happened'
Nocco in his video statement underscored how crucial it was that the homeowner was armed and able to protect himself and his family.
"It was because of his rights, his ability to defend himself and his family, that [his] family is OK and safe," the sheriff said. "Because I do not want to think what would have happened if they were unarmed, [Fleet] got in the house with that gun, and what he would have done to that family."
Nocco added that "when their lives were on the line, when that door was being kicked in, they utilized their Second Amendment rights, and they're safe because of it."
No one else was hurt in the shooting, WTSP said.