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Bullets missed Marion County deputies by few feet

Woman wanted to commit 'suicide by cop,' deputies say

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – The 911 call from an alert homeowner in rural Citra is what brought Sunday's search for a woman who fired at deputies to an end, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's Office spokesperson Cecelia Koon said Rachel Baggs, 43, was found hiding under a porch.

"The 911 call from the citizen was definitely the determining factor in this case," Koon said. "Because of that, we were able to locate Baggs, take her into custody, and take a dangerous felon off the streets."

Early Sunday morning, Baggs fled from Putnam County in a truck she'd stolen from a relative, according to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, threatened another relative and an ex-boyfriend, and drove recklessly more than 100 mph, even forcing another car off the road.

Putnam County deputies initially followed Baggs but then ended the chase.

A Marion County deputy spotted the stolen truck in Citra and picked up the pursuit, eventually cornering Baggs on a dead-end street where she got out and ran into the woods while firing two shots, Koon said.

One of the bullets hit the driver's side door of a patrol car.

 "Any shots fired at deputies are definitely too close for comfort," Koon said. "In this instance, they were about 10-15 feet from the vehicle when it was fired."

For five hours, law enforcement from several agencies, including Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Highway Patrol, searched the rural area for Baggs.

During the search, neighbors were told to stay inside and keep their doors locked.

The 911 call led the SWAT team to a house where they found Baggs hiding under the porch, Koon said.

"She did indicate that she fired at our deputies, hoping for suicide by cop," Koon said. "It is thankfully nothing that occurred in our county yesterday."

Putnam County court records show Baggs was granted a divorce in 2015 and her home was foreclosed on in 2018.

Records also show recent arrests for drugs, DUI and driving with a suspended license.

In 2016, someone filed for an injunction for protection against her for "dating violence," which was ultimately dismissed, according to records.


About the Author:

Erik von Ancken

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for WKMG-TV News 6 (CBS) in Orlando and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting. Erik joined the News 6 News Team in 2003 days after the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia.

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