TRENTON, Fla. – A gunman killed two Gilchrist County deputies at a restaurant Thursday in an unprovoked attack, Sheriff Bobby Schultz said.
The shooting happened at the intersection of State Road 26 and East Wade Street at Ace China in Trenton, Florida, officials said.
Schultz identified the slain law enforcement officers as Sgt. Noel Ramirez and Deputy Taylor Lindsey.
The motive of the shooter, identified by authorities as John Hubert Highnote, of Bell, a small town nearby, wasn't immediately known, but Schultz cited hatred toward law enforcement in society.
Schultz said law enforcement has been "demonized" by "every type of hate," and all his deputies were guilty of was "wanting to protect you and me."
Officials said Highnote walked up to the restaurant and shot both deputies through a window. Deputies responding to the scene found Highnote dead outside the business, Schultz said.
"Sgt. Ramirez and Deputy Lindsey were the best of the best. They were men of integrity, they were men of loyalty, they were God-fearing and they loved what they did and we're very proud of them," Schultz said.
Trenton is about 2.5 hours northwest of Orlando and 35 miles west of Gainesville.
Statements of condolences for the Sheriff's Office and the deputies families started pouring in after the news broke.
"We here at the Orange County Sheriff's Office are deeply saddened by the loss of the two Gilchrist County deputies killed in what appears to be a senseless act of violence in Trenton," Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said.
In a tweet, President Donald Trump said the slain deputies are "HEROES."
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.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 19, 2018
This morning, someone laid these flowers in front of the restaurant where two deputies were killed in Gilchrist County. It’s the first of many we’ll likely see today. https://t.co/yclLiUoY1Q pic.twitter.com/rV8qiweSmn— Mark Lehman (@MarkLehman6) April 20, 2018
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