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(AP) - Two off-duty Florida
law-enforcement officers fatally shot
an armed, naked woman who
confronted them at a social gathering Saturday, authorities said.
The shooting occurred at about 1:15
p.m. Saturday in Hernando County, north of Tampa. The county sheriff's office said in a
news release that the men were approached by an "armed, naked and irrational female." The news release does
not identify the weapon, but it says "one or both of the law enforcement
officers fired their weapons, striking the female." She died at the scene.
Both officers have been placed on
administrative leave as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates
the shooting in the Spring Hill community.
Authorities have identified the
officers as Hernando County sheriff's Detective Rocky Howard and Tampa police
officer William Mechler, who have served six and four years, respectively. Tampa police say Mechler
was "off duty and acting in the capacity of a private citizen."
Lt. Cinda Moore, a spokeswoman for
the Hernando sheriff's office, said in an email late Saturday that she could
not immediately identify the woman or disclose the weapon she was carrying. She
said she also could not comment on what the woman specifically said or did or
whether she was told to drop the weapon, explaining that the FDLE is leading
The Hernando County
sheriff's office does permit the carrying of service weapons when off-duty, she
The Tampa-area shooting comes two
weeks after a naked, unarmed University of South Alabama freshman was fatally shot by a campus police officer after
going to the police station there and pounding on the glass. The shooting has
led to protests by students.
Police said 18-year-old Gil Collar
had taken LSD and acted aggressively when an officer came outside carrying a gun.
The officer repeatedly backed away from the student before firing. An attorney
for the student's family says Collar never touched the officer and the fatal
shooting never should have happened. Authorities have said a grand jury will
review that shooting to determine whether charges should be filed.
Associated Press writer Norman
Gomlak contributed to this article from Atlanta
(Copyright 2012 The Associated
Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed.)
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