http://www.news-press.com/article/20081217/NEWS01/81217005/1075 Florida man kills ex as she begs 911 dispatcher for help, family says THE PALM BEACH POST • December 17, 2008 PALM BEACH -- The deadly rampage of a Gainesville-area man who authorities say tracked down and killed his ex-girlfriend Monday in her apartment near West Palm Beach played out live over two telephones calls, according to an arrest report. Advertisement Laronda Becker was pleading with a 911 dispatcher for deputies to hurry when Reginald Johnson allegedly shot her dead. Seconds later, as he shot himself in the head in a botched attempt to take his life, he was talking with his aunt in Alachua County. In the 911 call, Becker said that Johnson had entered the bedroom and begged police to come quickly. Over the dispatcher's line an altercation was heard and a gunshot. Then the sound of Becker's mother, also in the room, screaming. Seconds after Johnson rammed through the bedroom and fired the shot at the apartment on Haverhill Road south of Okeechobee Road, he was talking with his aunt in Alachua County. The aunt later told a detective that she could hear Becker's children screaming and asked where he was. She got no answer but could hear police in the background and told him to give himself up. She heard a gunshot and then the line went dead. A day after the horrific scene played out at the apartments at 1913 N. Haverhill Road, Johnson lay alive at St. Mary's Medical Center, now charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. An arrest report revealed that Johnson tried to shoot his ex's mother, Shirley Richards, but failed because the gun would not discharge. Laronda Becker fled the Gainesville area and spent the last two years in fear, hiding from Johnson. That saga came to a tragic end Monday afternoon. Family members of Becker and of Johnson, who is expected to survive, described him as having a history of mental illness. "He was supposed to be on medication," Elroy Johnson said of his grandson, who lived with him in their Newberry home until last week. Becker got a restraining order in Gainesville in 2006 to keep Johnson away from her and had been trying to hide from him since then, said sheriff's spokeswoman Teri Barbera. Becker's relatives said he had tried to choke her several times in the past. "He was a sick crazy boy," said Gloria Williams, Becker's aunt. "It happened many times." Becker's relatives said they heard her on the phone talking to Johnson last week. On Monday afternoon, Barbera said, Johnson showed up at the apartment at 1913 N. Haverhill Road that Becker shared with her mother and her children. Family members identified the grandmother as Shirley Richards and the children as 3-year-old Reggie and 2-year-old Ariel. "They left from Gainesville to get away from him," Williams said. "She was scared of him." Barbera said Becker's mother came home from work around 4:15 p.m. and saw her daughter at the front door saying "He's here. He's here." The two women barricaded the armed Johnson in a back room and called 911. Johnson broke out and shot Becker in the head, killing her, and tried to shoot Richards, who ran out of the apartment and called 911 again. Deputies arrived around 4:30 p.m., Barbera said. When the SWAT team tried to enter the apartment, Johnson shot himself once through the head. He was flown to St. Mary's Medical Center. The two children, who are now being cared for by their grandmother, were in the home at the time, but were not injured. "Unfortunately the children were inside and may have witnessed it," Barbera said, adding that the children appeared to be calm and she was not sure if they understood what had happened to their mother. Barbera said Becker had been trying to hide from her boyfriend, Johnson, for the past two years after getting the restraining order, but that he somehow learned their whereabouts last week. Elroy Johnson said the couple had been together on and off for four years and that Johnson lived with him for the past several months, but mysteriously moved out last Monday. The family did not see him after that. "He was just quiet and kept to himself, didn't tell me anything," Elroy Johnson said of the last time he saw Johnson. "Last Monday he left and we hadn't seen or heard from him. His sister called me and his mother called me and I didn't know where he was." Court records show that Johnson had an extensive history of arrests in the Gainesville area on charges of domestic battery, assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest and battering a pregnant woman. Elroy Johnson said he never knew about the problems between Johnson and Becker and that Johnson didn't talk to him much about what was going on in his life. Neighbors said the Haverhill Gardens apartment complex where the shooting happened was a quiet neighborhood, but even as deputies were at the scene investigating the shooting an unrelated fight broke out nearby and one woman was arrested and dragged away in handcuffs. Neighbor LeAndria Barnett said she heard the gunshot but initially thought it was just kids playing with fireworks. Then she saw the grandmother running out screaming "He shot my daughter." She said she also saw deputies break into the apartment before the man shot himself and then deputies running out with the two children cradled in their arms.