Sheriff: Deputies acted properly in fatal raid
Updated On: Feb 18 2012 03:51:51 PM EST
Sheriff Rick Beseler says the nine deputies investigating a tip about a meth lab at a Middleburg home acted "by the book" in Thursday night's shootout that left a detective and a suspect dead and another detective wounded.
No one should have been staying at the home when the deputies approached Thursday evening, Beseler said Friday afternoon.
The sheriff's office said Ted Arthur Tilley answered when deputies knocked, then opened fire on them. Tilley, 36, was fatally shot as he fled out the back of the house.
Detective David White, 35, died en route to the hospital after the shootout. Detective Matthew Hanlin, 37, was recovering Saturday from a gunshot wound to the arm.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating.
Beseler said he's not sure which or how many deputies fired back at Tilley.
"Everything they did last night was by the book. They wore all their protective gears. They followed all the proper protocols," Beseler said Friday. "Someone that was intent on hurting them made this happen."
The Sheriff's Office said the house was in foreclosure and the homeowner of record had given deputies permission to enter. Electricity to the home had been cut off, but squatters had run an extension cord from a nearby house for power.
"They had no right to be there," Beseler said.
Five others in the house were questioned. A 16-year-old from Valdosta, Ga., was charged with felony drug possession for having meth in his pocket, the sheriff's office said.
Tilley's criminal history includes multiple arrests, including charges of drug possession and resisting an officer, according to court records.
White, who was married with two young children, was a nine-year veteran of the sheriff's office, as well as an Army veteran.
"He was just one of the finest officers and military men that I've ever met," Beseler said. "He was just an unbelievably nice individual that we will sorely miss."
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