Reggie Best is dead but Putnam County Sheriff is celebrating gun violence

Putnam County shooting victim Reggie Best

A 67-year-old woman answered her front door at around 3:30 a.m. and found a stranger armed with a silver revolver who was pleading for help but she shot him dead with the 9mm handgun she was carrying after he “raised up both arms” and instead of decrying the abundance of deadly firearms in America, the county sheriff speculated that “there’s a high probability we may be investigating a double homicide.

Florida’s Reggie Best is dead after the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office says a 67-year-old woman shot and killed him while protecting herself in her home.

When deputies responded to the address, they found a silver revolver handgun just feet away from Best’s body, which was on the floor in the kitchen with a gunshot wound in his back.

Putnam County Sheriff Gator DeLoach is praising the quick actions by the homeowner, while the people who knew Best say that this is a cautionary tale about the effects of drugs, but nobody seems to be discussing the illegality of shooting a man in his back in Florida,  the state where George Zimmerman killed an unarmed teenager named Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American high school student who was walking from a neighborhood store to his father’s home, on February 26, 2012.

According to a woman who called 911 while deputies were on the way to Best’s home on Silver Lake Drive, Reginald Best believed he heard or saw unknown people lurking near his home.

The woman told a 911 dispatcher that Best jumped through a window of his home and ran down the street holding a handgun because he may have “been on something” but before they could reach the scene, another caller reported that she shot and killed an intruder.

The a 67-year-old woman told deputies that she saw he had a firearm in his hand when “Best raised up both arms” and fearing for her life, she shot him and then called 911.

According to a police incident report, the homeowner repeatedly told Best to leave, but he kept saying, “they are after me.”

Putnam County Sheriff Homer “Gator” DeLoach, whose 2016 election was mired for months in a lengthy legal challenge, switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican going forward.

Putnam County Sheriff Homer ‘Gator’ DeLoach

DeLoach, a self-described lifelong blue dog Democrat, said the decision is a personal choice that reflects where his values reside, namely his pro-life stance and the Second Amendment. The election challenge was based on the “inexplicable discovery” of an additional 428 ballots that turned the race from an 18-vote victory for Jon Kinney, the Republican candidate, to a 16-vote win for Deloach.

“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.”

“She wasn’t alone in the residence,” said DeLoach, who speculated in the absence of any proof that Best posed a danger to the woman, with whom he had been pleading for help. “She also had her 90-year-old mother, who is also an Alzheimer’s patient, in the home with her, so had she not had the foresight to arm herself, there’s a high probability we may be investigating a double homicide right now where Best would have been the suspect.”

“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,” said DeLoach. “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.”

DeLoach said the victim had the right to defend herself but this loss of life is not making anyone safer. Reggie Best was shot in his back, so regardless of the fear experienced by the homeowner or the apparent justification of self defense, this man’s death is not worthy of celebration.

Members of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office display the Thin Blue Line flag, which the Los Angeles Police Department and a township in Pennsylvania voted to ban from public areas because it has become an “anti-Black Lives Matter” symbol favored by white supremacists, insurrectionists, fascist extremists and right-wing domestic terrorists.
%d bloggers like this: