Deputy Returns Fire, Hitting Shooter

2014-01-21 by: Sergeant Hancel Woods
Interlachen, FL: At approximately 3:30 am Monday morning (1/20/2014) Putnam County Sheriff’s deputies were called to 131 Twin Lake Grove Drive in Interlachen by neighbors who indicated the resident of the home was calling them to complain of possible prowlers around her property.  This was the second time deputies responded to the residence that night. Approximately two hours earlier the resident, later identified as 61 year old Diana Conner, called and said someone was “messing around’ with her air conditioner and well. Upon arrival no one was found and Conner would not make contact with the responding deputy. Conner who was in telephone contact with Sheriff’s Office dispatchers would not believe the person outside her house was a deputy even when he turned on his blue emergency lights. The original responding deputy left after verifying the residence was safe and there were no prowlers. When deputies again responded in reference to calls from the neighbors, Conner came outside in the driveway armed with a rifle. The Uniformed Patrol deputies identified themselves as law enforcement officers and gave Conner commands to put down the weapon. Conner refused and opened fire on them with the rifle. Deputy Thomas Burger returned fire with his agency issued pistol striking Conner four times. Conner was transported to Shands in Gainesville where she remains in ICU.

Per agency policy, Deputy Burger has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the completion of an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

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