GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. -- In Clay County, Detective David White was killed just over a year ago when he was shot in Middleburg while investigating a suspected meth lab.
He will be honored next week during Clay County's annual police memorial.
First Coast News Consumer reporter David Williams, spoke to White's former partner Matthew Hanlin.
He vividly remembers that night in February 2012. Clay County Sheriff's Office detectives Hanlin and White were investigating a suspected meth lab when they saw a suspect.
Then, five shots forever changed Hanlin's life.
"I could hear this strange sound. Sounded like water," Hanlin said as he described what happened. "And my arm felt kind of weird. I looked over and I noticed that I had a pretty large hole in my arm above my elbow. It was pouring blood out of it."
Thirty-eight-year-old Hanlin was shot in the arm. White, a 35-year-old father of two and veteran, was shot in the head.
"I didn't learn actually until I was about to go into surgery that he had passed away," Hanlin explained.
Fast forward to today. White's photo hangs near a memorial wreath on the Clay County Sheriff's Office wall of honor.
"You could talk to him for five minutes and say 'I really like that guy,'" Hanlin said. "'He's a dang nice guy.'"
White was the first CCSO deputy sheriff's officer killed by an adversary. The building is named in White's honor. But, time hasn't healed everything according to Hanlin.
"It's hard, man," Hanlin said. "It's hard on everybody. Our whole unit is hurting."
Hanlin said his friend's presence is missed in the department.
"You go to work where his office is, where you're supposed to see him every day," Hanlin said. "Drinking his coffee and what not. But, he's not there. It's hard on everybody."
This is Police Memorial Week and as fallen officers across Florida and the nation are honored, the CCSO will unveil a memorial next week as they honor a fallen friend.
"You want his legacy and his life to live on," Hanlin said of his friend and co-worker.
First Coast Nerws asked Hanlin if he has made any personal changes since that day. He said he looks at everything differently. Hanlin also said he "basically has a second chance at life" and he "wants to do good with it."
First Coast News