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Shot Florida Deputy in Critical Condition


Deputy Randy Hayes is in critical but stable condition Thursday after he was shot Wednesday night as the SWAT team was serving a narcotics search warrant in Interlachen, according to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

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Hayes was shot when deputies entered a home on Junior Lake Drive about 10:30 p.m. According to Putnam County Capt. Johnny Greenwood, when the deputies knocked, announced that they were serving a warrant and entered they were confronted by two women with handguns.

Greenwood said Julie Lane, who was armed with a large-caliber handgun, opened fire, hitting Hayes in the upper torso. SWAT team members returned fire, hitting Lane in the stomach.

Both Hayes and Lane were taken to Shands Medical Center in Gainesville. Lane was also reported to be in critical but stable condition.

The second woman, Melissa McFarland, dropped her gun when confronted by the SWAT team. She was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. She was ordered held without bond and additional charges are expected.

Members of the SWAT team who fired during the incident were placed on administrative leave as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates the shooting.

Hayes is a 15-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office. Greenwood said Hayes was wearing a bullet-proof vest, but the bullet entered under his arm -- the only place where there's a gap in the vest.

This is the second law enforcement officer shot in Putnam County in the past week. Last Thursday, a St. Augustine Beach police officer working with a tri-county drug task force was shot during an undercover operation in Lake Como.

A Putnam County resident said they are tired of the violence in the area.

"We don't need this down here," said Richard Kwasniewski. "It's all retirement -- people trying to stay away from the craziness in big cities. We don't need this."

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