Update 1:10 a.m. Friday: A couple hundred patrol vehicles from different agencies drove from Trenton to Gainesville to escort the deputies to the medical examiner's office on Southwest Third Avenue. When authorities arrived at about 1 a.m. Friday, they closed off parts of West University Avenue.
Original Story: Two Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office deputies eating lunch in a Chinese restaurant in Trenton, Florida, were shot and killed Thursday afternoon, authorities said. The shooter was shot and killed by responders outside the restaurant.
The shooter was identified Thursday night by authorities as John Hubert Highnote, 59, of Bell, Florida.
The two deputies, Sgt. Noel Ramirez and Deputy Sheriff Taylor Lindsey, were eating in the restaurant Ace China, located at 1122 E Wade St. in downtown Trenton, at about 3 p.m. when the shooter walked up to the restaurant and shot both deputy sheriffs through the window, GCSO Deputy Chief Darry Lloyd said. Trenton is about 45 minutes west of Gainesville.
Both deputies died from their injuries, inside the restaurant, according to the release.
The shooting is still an ongoing investigation and there is no apparent motive, Lloyd said. The type of weapon used and how many rounds were fired has not been released, he said.
Officials from the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office have all responded to the area to help, according to the release.
President Donald Trump tweeted, “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.”
Florida Governor Rick Scott announced over Twitter he had offered state help to Gilchrist.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi confirmed the deaths and gave her condolences in a statement.
At about 1 a.m. Friday, a couple hundred patrol vehicles arrived at the medical examiner's office on Southwest Third Avenue after escorting the killed deputies from Trenton to Gainesville. West University Avenue was closed during the procession.
GPD Lt. Marc Pourde said law enforcement officers from different agencies stood at attention as the the fallen deputies were taken into the medical examiner’s office.
“It’s overwhelming,” he said. “This is like a brotherhood. Unfortunately, it has to be a time like this when you see it at its strongest.”