Two Florida deputies were shot and killed Thursday around 3 p.m. at a restaurant in Trenton, Florida.
A gunman fired through the window of Ace China, hitting two Gilchrist County deputies who were eating there, the sheriff said. When other deputies got to the scene, the shooter was dead outside, according to the sheriff’s office. Both of the deputies were found dead as well.
Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz named the two deputies as Noel Ramirez, 30, and Taylor Lindsay, 25. Schultz spoke at a news conference Thursday night, describing the two as “the best of the best.”
Schultz stood with other Florida law enforcement officers during the press conference. Schultz said the deputies' deaths weren't a political issue, but asked: “What do you expect happens when you demonize law enforcement to the extent that it's been demonized?”
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State and local officials — and even the president — offered condolences following the shooting. President Donald Trump called the two law enforcement officers “heroes,” and said his “thoughts, prayers and condolences are with the families, friends and colleagues of the two” deputies.
Ramirez was a seven year veteran of law enforcement. He was promoted to sergeant a little less than a year ago. Lindsay was a deputy with three years experience in Gilchrist County. Ramirez had children and was married. Lindsay was unmarried but had a girlfriend, Schultz said.
“I don’t have answers as to why this happened,” Schultz said, adding that more information will become available later.
Asked what he could say about the shooter, Schultz responded: “Nothing.” He said information about the “coward” will be released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
“They just wanted to get something to eat,” Schultz said of the deputies. “They just wanted to do their job.”
Schultz said he’s been in contact with the deputies’ families.
“As you’d expect, you can never be prepared for something like this,” Schultz said of his conversations with the families. “But make no mistake that they’re proud.”
Trenton, where the shooting occurred, is roughly 35 miles west of Gainesville in north central Florida.