TRENTON, Florida- The Gilchrist County Deputy Sheriffs Department said  approximately 3:00 pm Thursday afternoon, two of their agency’s deputies were shot and killed in the Ace China restaurant in downtown Trenton, after a suspect walked up to business and shot both deputies through the window. As fellow deputies responded to the scene, they found the shooter deceased outside the business, and both deputies died of their wounds.

At this point, it remains an active criminal investigation with no apparent motive or indications as to why this tragedy occurred.

Home to 66 full-time employees, 27 of them serving their community as deputy sheriffs, their loss is significant. Sheriffs from throughout the area and state officials are supporting the agency and citizens of Gilchrist County with protective patrols, investigative assistance, and any other needs. Supporting agencies include, but are not limited to: the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office,

Baker County Sheriff’s Office, Bradford County Sheriff’s Office, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Dixie County Sheriff’s Office, Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office, Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, Union County Sheriff’s Office, Gilchrist County Fire Rescue, Gilchrist County Emergency Management, Chiefland Police Department, Trenton Department of Public Safety, Williston Police Department, Florida Department of Agriculture, Florida Department of Corrections, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Office of the Attorney General for Florida, and the State Attorney’s Office for the 8th Judicial Circuit.

Sergeant Ramirez, 29 years old, leaves behind a wife and two young children. With over seven years’ total law enforcement experience, Noel served at both the Williston Police Department and the Levy County Sheriff’s Office before joining the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office in 2016.

Deputy Lindsey, 25, served for over three years with the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office, originally joining the Sheriff’s Office in 2013. Sheriff Schultz made personal notification to loved ones of both deputies this afternoon.

“Both our heroes had simply sat down to eat while on duty. There was no crime in progress, no disturbance. The suspect appears to have walked to the front of the business and shot both men without warning. Two holes in the window are visible tonight,” the agency said.

The shooter, found deceased from a gunshot wound by responders outside the business nearby, has been identified as John Hubert Highnote, 59, of Bell. No further information is available regarding the assailant, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is conducting the active, ongoing criminal investigation, they said.

There is no indication of any ongoing threat to the community, and we remain committed to your safety with the help of our other assisting agencies as this tragedy touches us all, the office stated.

Authorities say a media staging area has been established in front of Duke Energy (not related to the incident) at 1532 East Wade Street in Trenton, Florida. Requests for footage of the scene will be accommodated and updated briefing times provided as soon as they are available. 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 assist.