TRENTON, Fla. — Someone fired through the window of a north Florida restaurant Thursday afternoon, killing two deputies who were getting food, officials said.
Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz identified the slain deputies during a news conference as Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 30, and Deputy Taylor Lindsey, 25.
The deputies were getting food at the Ace China restaurant in Trenton when the shooter walked up to the building and fired at them through a window, Schultz said. Fellow deputies responding to the scene found the shooter dead outside the business.
Schultz wouldn’t say how the suspect died, adding that state law enforcement officials were investigating. There’s no apparent motive for the shooting.
“Sgt. Ramirez and Deputy Lindsey were the best of the best,” Schultz said. “They were men of integrity, men of loyalty. They were God-fearing, and they loved what they did, and we are very proud of them.”
Schultz said he rushed to the scene as soon as he heard about the shooting. He said it’s important to remember that attacks like Thursday’s can happen anywhere, even in small cities like Trenton.
“After 26 years of doing this, there is nothing that can prepare you for senseless deaths,” Schultz said.
The shooter’s name wasn’t immediately released.
Trenton is in northern Florida, about 35 miles west of Gainesville.
Echoes of 2014 Las Vegas attack
A similar ambush happened in Las Vegas in 2014, when a couple fatally shot two Las Vegas police officers who were eating lunch at a Cici’s Pizza in the east valley.
As fellow officers responded to the scene, the couple, Jerad and Amanda Miller, went to an adjacent Walmart. There, they shot and killed shopper Joseph Wilcox, 31, who tried to stop them. Police later killed the couple in a shootout in the store.
“News of the shooting of the two deputies in Florida did bring back memories of the shooting of LVMPD Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo four years ago,” Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Laura Meltzer said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “We don’t know all of the details of the Florida shooting, but we are saddened to know another law enforcement family is suffering the loss of two of its own.”
— Rachel Crosby, Las Vegas Review-Journal