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Interlachen woman exchanges gunfire with deputy

An Interlachen woman was hospitalized after being shot four times by a Putnam County deputy early Monday morning.

According to the sheriff’s office, around 1:30 a.m. Diana Conner, 61, called 911, to report a suspicious person “messing around” with her air conditioner.

A deputy could find no one on the property and Conner refused to make contact with the responding officer.

The sheriff’s office said that Conner, who remained in telephone contact with dispatchers, refused to believe that the deputy outside was a law enforcement officer, even after he turned on his emergency lights.  The responding deputy left after verifying the residence was safe and there were no prowlers.

At approximately 3:30 a.m. deputies were called back to Conner’s residence, after neighbors indicated Conner was calling them to complain of possible prowlers around her property.

When deputies again responded to the home at 131 Twin Lake Grove Drive, Conner came outside in the driveway armed with a rifle.

Officers identified themselves and ordered Conner to lay down the weapon.  She instead opened fire with the rifle.  Deputy Thomas Burger returned fire, striking Conner four times.  The 61-year-old was transported to UF Health in Gainesville where she remains in the intensive care unit.

The sheriff’s office said that, in accordance with agency policy, Burger has been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation.

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