A gunman shot through the window of a Chinese restaurant and killed two Gilchrist County sheriff’s deputies in Trenton, Fla., on Thursday.
Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 29, and deputy Taylor Lindsey, 25, were eating at Ace China restaurant when a 59-year-old ambushed them at 3:00 p.m., Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz said Thursday.
The gunman, later identified as John Hubert Highnote, was fatally shot by responders outside the restaurant.
“They found the shooter deceased outside the business,” according to the department. Both deputies died at the scene.
There was no altercation and no one else was injured, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Brett Rhodenizer told the Daily News.
Schultz made contact with the officers’ families Thursday and said, “Sgt. Ramirez and Deputy Lindsey were the best of the best.”
“They were men of integrity, men of loyalty. They were god-fearing and they loved what they did and we are very proud of them,” Schultz added. “They gave their lives so that we can all be safe.”
Ramirez, a seven-year veteran who joined the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office in 2016, was a married father of two.
Lindsey served on the force for three years and leaves behind a girlfriend.
An emotional Schultz remembered the two deputies and said, “If you ever saw Sgt. Ramirez’s smile, [it was] infectious.” Lindsey also “shined,” he added.
Schultz declined to discuss details surrounding Highnote’s life and his motives, choosing instead to call him a “coward.”
“I want this to be about those deputy sheriffs. The world is full of cowards and the world is full of heroes and we need to highlight those heroes and what they gave.”
President Trump addressed the shooting on Twitter and wrote, “My thoughts, prayers and condolences are with the families, friends and colleagues of the two @GCSOFlorida deputies (HEROES) who lost their lives in the line of duty today.”
Gov. Rick Scott issued a statement that read, “It is true evil for anyone to hurt a law enforcement officer, and in Florida, we have zero tolerance for violence, especially against the police.”
“Tonight, I ask every Floridian to honor these law enforcement officers, their brothers and sisters in uniform and their families. May God bless those who work to keep our communities safe,” the statement continued.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the incident.
Trenton, a town with more than 2,000 residents, is about 30 miles west of Gainesville.
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