||| Gilchrist Sheriff's Office/David J. Phillip |||
A terrible tragedy took the lives of two young sheriff's deputies in Florida Thursday when a gunman ambushed them while they ate at a restaurant in the city of Trenton, about 35 miles west of Gainesville. The suspect attacked the two deputies in broad daylight while they ate at a Chinese restaurant and fatally shot them through the restaurant's windows before taking his own life.
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Florida officials said in a statement the shooter walked up and started blasting through a window fatally shooting both deputies and himself but miraculously no one else was hurt. The Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office identified the two fallen deputies as their own Sergeant Noel Ramirez, 30, and Deputy Sheriff Taylor Lindsey, 25.
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"As fellow deputies responded to the scene, they found the shooter deceased outside the business, and both Deputy Sheriffs where they died of their wounds," officials said Thursday. Sheriff Bobby Schultz's statement was initially released on their social media pages Thursday and confirmed that no suspects were at large. "The only thing these men were guilty of was wanting to protect you and me," Schultz said. "They just wanted to get something to eat, and they just wanted to do their jobs."
The shooter was identified as 59-year-old John Hubert Highnote of Bell, Florida. Holmes County Sheriff’s Office shed some more light on the incident on their Facebook page. "About an hour ago, two deputies with the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office were shot and killed in a suspected ambush," the statement said. "Please keep the families of these deputies, Sheriff Bobby Schultz, and the rest of their law enforcement family in your prayers."
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">We are devastated to learn the news of the Gilchrist County deputies who were killed in the line of duty. Our deepest condolences are with their families and the community who lost two heroes today. FDC stands ready to support.</p>— FL Dept. Corrections (@FL_Corrections) <a href="https://twitter.com/FL_Corrections/status/987082131099803648?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 19, 2018</a></blockquote>
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The tragedy prompted an outpouring of support from other law enforcement agencies in the area and across Florida as word of the shooting spread. Florida Department of Corrections tweeted, "We are devastated to learn the news of the Gilchrist County deputies who were killed in the line of duty. Our deepest condolences are with their families and the community who lost two heroes today. FDC stands ready to support."
Orlando Police also offered their condolences saying, "We are heartbroken to learn that two Gilchrist County Sheriffs Office deputies were killed in the line of duty today. OPD stands in grief with their families and fellow deputies."
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