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Two Florida deputies shot, killed at restaurant in Gilchrist County

Two Gilchrist County sheriff’s deputies were shot and killed at a restaurant about 3 p.m. Thursday.

The deputies were at Ace China restaurant in downtown Trenton when a man shot them through the restaurant’s window, a Sheriff’s Office statement said.

As other law enforcement officers arrived on the scene, they found the suspect dead outside the restaurant.

Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz identified the deputies as Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 30, a seven-year veteran, and deputy Taylor Lindsey, who was 25. Schultz said Ramirez had children and was married, and Lindsey was not married but had a girlfriend.

"Sgt. Ramirez and Deputy Lindsey were the best of the best," Schultz said. "They were men of loyalty, God-fearing … They gave their lives so that we can all be safe."

Schultz wouldn’t say how the suspect died, adding that state law enforcement officials were investigating. The suspect’s name was not released. There’s no apparent motive for the shooting.

Bill Cervone, the state attorney for Florida’s 8th Judicial Circuit, called the act "inexplicable."

"It appears he just walked up and shot them, then went to his car and shot himself. It’s inexplicable ... people will want to know why and we may never have an answer for them," Cervone told the Gainesville Sun.

Schultz spoke mostly about the fallen deputies and the honor of serving in law enforcement. He said he wouldn’t make his remarks political, except for saying, "What do you expect when you demonize law enforcement to the extent it has been demonized?"

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he was "heartbroken" by the shootings.

"It is true evil for anyone to hurt a law enforcement officer, and in Florida, we have zero tolerance for violence, especially against the police," Scott said in a statement.

"My heart breaks with the tragic news of two Gilchrist County deputies that were senselessly killed today while in the line of duty," Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi wrote in a statement. "The daily risk that law enforcement officers take to protect our communities is overwhelming. My deepest condolences and prayers are with their families as they mourn the devastating loss of their loved ones. May their families, friends and fellow officers find peace and comfort during this very difficult time."

President Donald Trump tweeted about the shooting and called the deputies heroes.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., also tweeted his condolences:

Information from the Washington Post was included in this report.

     
   
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