In a senseless act of violence, two deputies in Gilchrist County, Florida were murdered while having lunch Thursday afternoon. WHIO News is reporting that around 3 p.m., Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 30, and Deputy Taylor Lindsey, 25, were having lunch at Ace China restaurant on State Road 26 in Trenton when a gunman approached the window and fired two shots, striking both deputies.
The shooter was later identified as 59-year-old John Hubert Highnote, a resident of Bell.
Gilchrist County police responded to the scene after receiving a 911 call from the restaurant. The shooter was purportedly found dead from a gunshot wound. His body was located inside of a vehicle, which was parked outside of the restaurant, according to a statement.
Ramirez and Lindsey were pronounced dead at the scene.
Bill Cervone, state attorney for Florida’s Eighth Judicial Circuit, called the deaths “inexplicable.” He stated that it appears the gunman walked up to the window and open fire, killing the two deputies before walking back to his vehicle and shooting himself.
Cervone added that many people want to know why Highnote killed the two deputies, but we may never know why.
Law enforcement officers were stunned after learning about the deaths of two of their own. Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Shultz III said he knew Lindsey and Ramirez personally and has spoken to their families.
Shultz told the families that “they can be proud of those men.”
Ramirez was a married seven-year veteran with two children, and Lindsey reportedly had a girlfriend.
The killing of two Gilchrist County deputies, who were described as “men of integrity and loyalty” and the “best of the best,” left many people devastated and heartbroken all around the world. President Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio sent their condolences to the families via Twitter.
Gov. Rick Scott released a statement, which states as follows:
“My wife, Ann, and I are heartbroken by the loss of two law enforcement officers in Trenton. I have spoken with the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office and committed all available state resources they may need. I have also been briefed by FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen who has officers on the scene.”
“It is truly 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.”
Gilchrist County Schools urged staff and students to wear blue on Friday to honor the fallen officers.
A motive for the Trenton shooting is unclear, but officials say that it was not caused by an incident in the restaurant.
Gilchrist County police are investigating the double homicide.