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The estranged husband of a woman who was staying with another family while she pursued a divorce was fatally shot after allegedly attempting to force his way into her hosts' home.
Ronald Fleet, 55, was shot to death in Land O' Lakes, Florida over the weekend by the home's owner after he tried to enter the property, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.
Investigators suspect that rage and jealousy fueled the deadly encounter. Fleet was allegedly “upset” because the family was trying to help his wife escape a “horrific marriage,” Sheriff Chris Nocco said.
“We believe that the motive and his rage might have been because he was upset that this family was supporting his estranged wife during their divorce proceedings,” Nocco explained.
Law enforcement were dispatched to the family’s home in the small city’s Sunset Lakes neighborhood around 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 8. Fleet, who was allegedly armed with a .380 caliber pistol, allegedly kicked open the home’s door and entered the house. The homeowner retrieved his own gun and fired shots at Fleet. The 55-year-old intruder also managed to fire off a single round, law enforcement said.
“The victim starts shooting to defend himself and his family,” Nocco said. “Ronald, also at one point, fires a round. Ronald then retreats back outside of the house. At this time, the victim stops shooting.”
However, upon exiting the property, Fleet allegedly began “charging” back into the house. More shots were fired by the homeowner, killing Fleet, law enforcement said.
“As Ronald starts to charge into the house, the victim starts shooting again at Ronald, which kills him,” Nocco said.
No one else was harmed in the shooting. The homeowner, who authorities didn't identify, wasn’t charged in Fleet’s death.The Pasco County Sheriff said the Florida man acted within his rights. It's unclear if Fleet was personally known to the family.
The case is active and ongoing.
“This information is so preliminary,” Nocco said. “Our investigators are still investigating this case and the state attorney’s office will review it.”
Fleet has previous arrests for domestic battery and driving under the influence in Hillsborough County, according to additional court documents obtained by Oxygen.com.
A spokesperson for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office wasn’t immediately available for comment on Monday.
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