ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A shootout between an undercover Orange County sheriff's deputy and a suspected drug dealer took place Tuesday morning in the parking lot of a home improvement store, but no one was hurt, officials said.
The shootout occurred outside the Lowe's in the area of Lake Underhill Road and Alafaya Trail when a drug deal involving heroin was going down.
Orange County sheriff's spokeswoman Jane Watrel said an undercover deputy completed a transaction with two people when other deputies moved in to arrest the duo.
Ereka Hill, 40, stepped out of the vehicle to meet with the undercover deputy and as deputies went to arrest them duo, Shontell McCauley, 41, fired several shots from a pickup truck through the window at the deputy.
"It was only a matter of inches away from the deputy," she said.
Deputies returned gunfire, but McCauley quickly surrendered and is being charged with attempted homicide of a law enforcement officer, officials said. Hill was also arrested and will be charged with drug possession with an intent to distribute.
Watrel up to eight deputies were part of the sting, which was carefully planned.
"Deputies do everything they can to try to minimize the risk to citizens and yet draw out those involved in the heroin trade and drug dealers and drug users," Watrel said. "It's a fine line, it's a balance, but there was meticulous planning for this to make sure that no citizens were in harm's way in case the worst possible scenario happened, and it did."
Watrel added that it's fortunate no one was injured.
"Our deputies put their lives on the line constantly," she said. "You're dealing with bad people using drugs."
The deputy will be placed on administrative leave as the investigation continues.
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