2 Clay County deputies shot, 1 dies

Suspect running from suspected meth lab also killed

Published On: Feb 16 2012 06:59:20 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 17 2012 06:43:39 AM EST
Clay County Deputy Shot, Killed
MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -

Two deputies were shot during a raid of a suspected meth lab in Middleburg on Thursday evening.  One of those deputies and a suspect shot as he ran from the scene both died, according to Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler.

The second deputy was also hit by gunfire in the incident on Alligator Boulevard just after 6:30 p.m.

Beseler identify the deputy killed as David White, 35, a detective and nine-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office. 

"Detective White ... was literally one of the best officers we had," Beseler said. "He will be sorely missed."

White was the first Clay County deputy to be killed in the line of duty in almost 40 years.

The second detective, Matt Hanlin, was struck in the arm and was taken to Orange Park Medical Center, where he was listed in serious but stable condition.

Clay County Detective David White "This is the darkest day in the history of this agency," Beseler said after visiting the shooting scene.

The suspect's name has not been released.

Five people were arrested at the scene, and authorities said at least some of them may have been staying at the house without the knowledge or permission of the owners.

"Right now the focus of all the members of the Sheriff's Office and the members of the community is with the family of those two officers," Beseler said. "We just ask for everyone's prayers."

The Clay County Sheriff's Office will observe an agency-wide moment of silence at 9 a.m. Friday, which will include radio silence for patrol members.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will be the lead agency in the investigation of the police-involved shooting and will also assist in the clean up of the drug lab.