A British estate agent who was shot dead in a “senseless tragedy” in the US has been described as “kind, vivacious” and “selfless”.

Sara Trost, 40, of Parkland, Florida, was found by officers in the driver’s seat on December 23 suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, Coral Springs Police Department said.

Mrs Trost was from Southend, Essex, according to reports.

Ana Y Lopez, vice president and co-founder of Paw Patrol Animal Rescue, said Mrs Trost had been volunteering and fostering with the charity since 2017 and had even adopted from them.

She told the PA news agency: “She was one of our most trusted, knowledgeable and beloved fosters.

“We are still in complete and utter shock about this senseless tragedy.

“Thinking about her husband and baby makes me absolutely heartsick.

“We truly cannot come to grips with what has happened.

“It may sound trite, but Sara will truly be missed.

“She was kind, vivacious, sweet, caring, helpful, giving, selfless, I could truly go on.

“I pray for her family, that they may be able to find some peace, some day.

“I know they say, ‘everything happens for a reason’ but this makes no sense at all.”

A statement from detectives said: “Despite immediate medical treatment, the driver succumbed to her injuries on scene and was pronounced dead.

“Coral Springs Police Department detectives conducted an immediate investigation and detained an individual in connection with the shooting.

“At this time there are no additional suspects being sought, nor is there a threat to the community.

“Crimes against persons unit are actively investigating the incident.”

An updated report from detectives said 51-year-old Raymond Wesley Reese was charged with first degree murder on Christmas Eve.

The Times newspaper reported that she had shared opinions on social media about the Parkland high school shooting, in Florida in 2018.