Two Florida sheriff’s deputies were killed Thursday, shot through the window of a Chinese restaurant as they shared a meal, The Gainesville Sun reported. The man who allegedly shot the Gilchrist County deputies was found dead in a car outside the restaurant, authorities said.
Deputy Taylor Lindsey, 25, and Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 29, were eating at the Ace China restaurant in Trenton at 3 p.m. when they were shot, according to a Sheriff’s Office statement.
The Sheriff’s Office identified the shooter as John Hubert Highnote, 59, of Bell, Florida. Deputies responding to the shooting found Highnote dead from a gunshot wound, the statement said.
Ramirez was a seven-year veteran and was married with two children, Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz said.
Schultz called the shooter “a coward,” while Bill Cervone, state attorney for Florida’s 8th Judicial Circuit, called the act “inexplicable.”
"It appears (the shooter) just walked up and shot them, then went to his car and shot himself. It’s inexplicable ... people will want to know why and we may never have an answer for them," Cervone told the Sun.
“Sgt. Ramirez and Deputy Lindsay were the best of the best,” Schultz said at a news conference. “They’re men of integrity, they’re men of loyalty, they are God-fearing and they loved what they did. We are very proud of them.”
Schultz added that he did not want to make his remarks political, but said “What do you expect when you demonize law enforcement to the extent it has been demonized?”
The shooting was not prompted by any incident in the restaurant, the Sun reported.
In a statement, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he was “heartbroken.”
"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," Scott said.
President Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted their condolences.