Slain naked woman seen holding cross

Oct. 22, 2012 at 7:39 PM
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SPRING HILL, Fla., Oct. 22 (UPI) -- A naked woman killed by two off-duty law enforcement officers at a party in Spring Hill, Fla., was seen carrying a metal cross before she was shot.

Inga Marie Swanson, 42, was fatally shot Saturday after she approached Hernando County Sheriff's Deputy Rocky Howard, 31, and Tampa police officer William Mechler, 26, at a party at a house in Spring Hill, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The woman, who was not invited to the party, was described by authorities as "armed, naked and irrational" when she walked up to the officers. Authorities had not identified what weapon she had in her possession.

Before the party, Al Eylward and Robert Collins saw Swanson walking on a dirt road and then again when they were in a mobile home. Eylward and Collins said Swanson entered the mobile home and was carrying a large, silver cross.

Swanson waved the cross in a circle over her head several times, they said. She said either "Antichrist, Antichrist, Antichrist. This meeting is over," or, "This is the Antichrist. Let's wrap it up," before leaving.

The sheriff's office didn't disclose details of the party. It wasn't clear whether one or both offices had fired at Swanson or whether the shots were fired by service weapons or the men's personal guns.

Howard and Mechler have been placed on administrative leave from their agencies while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates the incident.

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