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Two Gilchrist deputies slain

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By David Davis

Corrected spelling of Deputy Taylor Lindsey's last name

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Corrected age of Sgt. Ramirez

Added shooters name.

According to a statement from the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office, 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.

“There is no indication of any ongoing threat to our community, and we remain committed to your safety with the help of our other assisting agencies as this tragedy touches us all,” Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz said in a written statement.

Two Gilchrist County deputies were killed earlier this afternoon when they were shot by an unidentified assailant or assailants.

Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz identified the two deputies as Sgt. Noel Ramirez and Deputy Taylor Lindsey at a press conference this evening. The sheriff refused to discuss the identity or any other details about the shooter.

“It’s not about him,” he said. “It’s about my deputies.”

The shooter was found dead outside the restaurant from self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The press conference was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., but it was delayed until almost 8 p.m., because Schultz went to both homes to comfort the families of the two deputies.

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"I made contact with the family's and as you'd expect never be prepared for something like this. But make no mistake, I'm proud of their families. They understood when their loved ones pinned on the badge and they strapped on the gun that this was a possibility," Schultz said to reporters. 

“Anybody that can hear me, the sound of my voice and they can see my face on their TV, [know] that Sgt. Ramirez and Deputy Lindsey were the best of the best. They are men of integrity. They're men of loyalty. They're God-fearing and they loved what they did and we are very proud of them. 

“I'm not near as articulate as I should be on a bunch of things but I'm honored that I get to work with men and woman just like those two individuals. They gave their lives so that we can all be safe … you know … I am 26 years of doing this, nothing can prepare you for senseless deaths. I want to focus on them, not only were they the quintessential deputy sheriff's that you'd want, they were quintessential children, husbands, boyfriends, brothers, law enforcement brethren that anybody could ever want. 

“I knew both of them personally. I can sit here in front of all you and say that I love them. And they were loved. When I met with the families today I told them that they could be proud of those men, they could be proud, and I'm proud to have been their sheriff. I'm proud for the opportunity I had to have worked alongside with them. I don't have answers to why this happened.

“The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will conclude their investigation and the time that they feel fit to release information. But I want you to know that they don't need to be remembered strictly for their untimely death, but they need to be remembered for the type of people that they are and that's good individuals, good deputy sheriff's. I'd like to thank all the agencies involved.

“If you look behind me there's men and women from just about every county in North Florida represented. Sheriff's, police chiefs, public safety officers, state representatives. I've been contacted by everybody you can think of, because they recognize that we have hero's among us. They understand what it takes to be a law enforcement officer. There's so much I want to say, and so much I shouldn't say. But I will say this, we're not going to make this into a; at least the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office, and I think I can speak for every citizen of Gilchrist County, we are not going to make this a political issue other than the facts — what do you expect  happens when you demonize law enforcement to the extent it's been demonized — every type of hate, every type of put down that you can think of, the only thing these men were guilty of was wanting to protect you and me. They just wanted to go get something to eat."

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Two Gilchrist County deputies were killed earlier this afternoon when they were shot by an unidentified assailant or assailants.

Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz identified the two deputies as Sgt. Noel Ramirez and Deputy Taylor Lindsey at a press conference this evening. The sheriff refused to discuss the identity or any other details about the shooter.

“It’s not about him,” he said. “It’s about my deputies.”

The shooter was found dead outside the restaurant from self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The press conference was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., but it was delayed until almost 8 p.m., because Schultz went to both homes to comfort the families of the two deputies.

Ramirez, 30, was married with children. He had been in law enforcement for seven years, service with the Williston Police Department and the Levy County Sheriff’s Department. He had served Gilchrist County for two years.

Lindsey, 25, was single, but left behind a girlfriend. He had served as a Gilchrist deputy for three years. 

A tweet issued by GCSO earlier in the day stated only that, “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 issued later.”

The two deputies were in the Ace Chinese restaurant having lunch when they were shot through the window. Two bullet holes can be seen in the window.

Ramirez, 29, was married with children. He had been in law enforcement for seven years, service with the Williston Police Department and the Levy County Sheriff’s Department. He had served Gilchrist County for two years.

Lindsey, 25, was single, but left behind a girlfriend. He had served as a Gilchrist deputy for three years. 

A tweet issued by GCSO earlier in the day stated only that, “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 issued later.”

The two deputies were in the Ace Chinese restaurant having lunch when they were shot through the window.