British estate agent shot dead in US ‘by evicted tenant’

A British mother who worked as an estate agent in Florida was allegedly shot dead outside a home she had been showing to a new renter.

Sara Trost, 40, originally from Southend, Essex, was shot on Thursday in Coral Springs, 40 miles north of Miami, as she sat in her car and waited to meet a potential new tenant. 

Raymond Reese, 51, the property’s former tenant, was arrested after he allegedly shot Mrs Trost because he mistook her for his landlady who was attempting to evict him from the $515,000 property. 

Paramedics attempted to save her life on the driveway of the detached three-bedroom home, located in a quiet, residential neighbourhood.

“There was a disgruntled tenant who was evicted. He thought that the realtor who was showing the home was the owner of the house, and she was ambushed,” Donna Smith, a local resident, told the US television station WPLG Local 10.

Mrs Trost, of Parkland, near Miami, was married with a three-year-old daughter. She had owned her property business for eight years and had also worked as an interior designer.

“When officers arrived, they discovered a vehicle with one female occupant in the driver’s seat suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Despite immediate medical treatment, the driver succumbed to her injuries on scene and was pronounced dead,” the Coral Springs police department said.

Detectives arrested Reese a short while later in the nearby town of Boca Raton. 

“There are no additional suspects being sought, nor is there a threat to the community,” the police report added.

Mrs Trost’s death comes after she shared strong opinions on America’s gun culture on social media following a high school shooting in 2018 in Parkland, where she lived with her American husband, Jason, 46, in which 17 people were killed.

Discussing the subject online three months later, she wrote on Facebook: “Australia had one incident. One, They FIXED IT. UK had ONE incident. They FIXED it. How? With action. Using their brains. It was not difficult for either country to find a workable and successful solution.

“Here in the US we seem to start and stop at ‘thoughts and prayers’. Doesn’t seem to be working right,” she wrote.

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