Two Gilchrist County deputies killed in restaurant ambush

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The Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office says two deputies were shot and killed in an ambush Thursday afternoon in downtown Trenton.

The deputies, Sgt. Noel Ramirez and Deputy Taylor Lindsey, had stopped to get lunch when they were shot.

Sheriff Bobby Schultz, flanked by deputies and community leaders, addressed the media Thursday evening to recount what happened to his deputies earlier in the day.

Schultz said a man, later identified as 59-year-old John Hubert Highnote, walked up to the Ace China restaurant just before 3 p.m. and shot the deputies through the window. 

Both deputies died of their wounds, and as other officers responded, they found the shooter dead outside the business.

The sheriff said Taylor Lindsey had several years with the department, having left and recently returned. Lindsey and Ramirez, a seven-year veteran of the agency, worked the same shift. 

The two planned to compete in the upcoming First Responder Olympics, Sheriff Schultz said.

Trenton is a town of about 2,000 residents about 25 miles west of Gainesville.

Multiple Florida sheriff's offices and police departments are offering condolences to their colleagues in the north Florida county.

The first reports of the shooting came in a vaguely-worded tweet from the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office, saying a "terrible tragedy" had occurred.

"GILCHRIST COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE has suffered a terrible tragedy. Please avoid the area of SR 26 from the red light to the area of subway.  No suspects are at large.  Further updates will be posted later."

There is no apparent motive for the shooting at this point, deputies said.