Walton County investigators say the man was shot as he tried to break in the home of an off-duty sheriff's deputy.
Family members say 23-year-old Travis Burns had his troubles, but was trying to turn his life around. Now they are mourning the loss of the man they affectionately call “Turbo.”
It was just before midnight Tuesday night when shots rang out at the Spring Hill East apartment complex just off Highway 90. Authorities are calling the incident an apparent home invasion.
Witnesses say Burns broke the window of the apartment with his head and then kicked in the door. He apparently did this while not wearing any clothing.
Deputy Bradley Stafford was inside the home and witnesses say he shot Burns as he stood in the doorway.
The body was taken to the medical examiner’s office in Fort Walton Beach for an autopsy. Authorities are still trying to figure out why Burns broke into the house.
His mother, Gerotta Campbell, believes he may have been on drugs and was simply calling for help.
"He could have shot him in the foot or leg or arm or something. If he continued coming after him then, then go another way. That's why I'm saying. The child needed some help or something. He had to the way he was acting. He was on something."
Deputy Stafford has been placed on leave pending the outcome of the investigation. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is handling the probe since the shooting involves a deputy.