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Authorities Confirm Florida Deputy Fatally Shoots 81-Year-Old Woman Following Knife Lunge

In a tragic incident, Florida police fatally shot an 81-year-old woman, identified as Janet Sours, who was suspected to be experiencing a mental health crisis. The confrontation occurred when officers responded to a call at Rails End Mobile Home Park, situated between Orlando and Gainesville, shortly after 11 p.m. on Monday.

According to a press release from the Sumter County Sheriff's Office, the responding officer attempted to assess the nature of Sours' distress after she called 911. Authorities were trying to determine whether her complaint was genuine or if she was undergoing a mental health episode. The situation escalated when Sours allegedly lunged at the deputy with a knife, prompting the officer to back away, draw his service weapon, and open fire.

Following the incident, Sours was rushed to a local hospital, where she passed away in the subsequent hours, as confirmed by officials. The Sumter County Sheriff's Office announced that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is conducting an investigation into the shooting. The FDLE affirmed its ongoing investigation but provided no additional details at the time. Rails End Mobile Home Park's associated company responded to a request for comment from USA TODAY on Thursday morning.

According to the released information, Sours had called 911, expressing the urgency for rescue personnel to come to her home in Rails End, citing that "people were dying over here." However, she quickly hung up. Described as being "in distress," Sours' situation unfolded as rescue personnel awaited the arrival of deputies, given the limited information about the call.

The alleged stabbing attempt occurred during the deputies' investigation of her complaint, leading rescue personnel to initiate life-saving measures before transporting her to the hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.

The incident has left the community rattled, with a neighbor expressing sadness for Sours and acknowledging the impact her loss will have on the neighborhood.

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