Clay County mourns loss of deputy; IDs gunman

Published On: Feb 17 2012 07:11:12 AM EST
Updated On: Feb 18 2012 12:13:00 AM EST

In light of the recent killing of a deputy, Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler doesn't believe the shooter should've been on the streets.

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -

All activity at the Clay County Sheriff's Office paused at 9 a.m. Friday for a moment of silence honoring a detective killed Thursday night during a raid on a suspected meth lab.

"Detective David White made the ultimate sacrifice, giving his life in the line of duty," the radio dispatcher said just prior to 60 seconds of radio silence. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the White family and all those who serve and protect."

White's partner, Detective Matt Hanlin, was shot in the arm when the two went through the front door of the home on Alligator Boulevard in Middleburg just before 6:30 p.m. Thursday. With family and fellow officers waiting at Orange Park Medical Center, Hanlin went through surgery overnight and his condition was upgraded to serious.

"Deputy Hanlin is doing remarkable well, considering the injuries he received in the gunfight," Sheriff Rick Beseler said Friday afternoon. "Of course he was devastated to know that his partner had been killed, but he was fully alert and conscious."

The suspected gunman, identified as 36-year-old Ted Tilley, was shot and killed by other deputies as he ran out the back of the house.

Beseler said Tilley had a long history of crimes ranging from traffic violations to domestic battery and called him a "menace."

Two men, two women and a juvenile inside the house were taken into custody after the shootings, but only 16-year-old Jerry Daniels has been charged with a crime: felony drug possession.

Investigators say some or all of those detained were living in the house without the knowledge or permission of the owner, who told Channel 4 that the property went into foreclosure and he had not been there in three years. [Full story]

Friday morning, investigators with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Clay County Sheriff's Office remained at the home, some wearing hazardous materials suits as they removed chemicals and equipment.

Federal agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration had also responded to the scene.

White, a 35-year-old Army veteran, is the first Clay County deputy shot on duty in nearly 40 years and the first killed in the line of duty since 1913. He leaves behind a wife and two children, ages 3 months and 2 years old.

"David White was not only a hero as far as his service to the Clay County Sheriff's Office, he was also a military veteran who served overseas in numerous areas of conflict like Bosnia and Iraq," Beseler said. "He was one of the finest officers and military men I've ever met. He was an unbelievably nice individual and will be sorely missed."

A viewing for White will be held from 1-4 p.m. Sunday at Russell Haven of Rest Cemetery and Funeral Home, 2335 Sandridge Road in Green Cove Springs. Funeral services set for 10 a.m. Monday at First Baptist Church in Middleburg will be for family, friends and the law enforcement community only.

The public is invited to pay respects as the funeral procession travels from the church to the cemetery.

Gov. Rick Scott ordered flags lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday at the Clay County Sheriff's Office, the Clay County Courthouse and Green Cove Springs City  Hall.

Donations to assist the family are being accepted at the Clay County Sheriff's Office Humanitarian Fund at the Heritage Bank in Orange Park, account No. 1520387212.

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