Two deputies were killed when a man shot at them through a window while they were eating at a Chinese restaurant in Trenton, Florida, on Thursday afternoon.
A gunman walked up to Ace China Restaurant and shot at Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 30, and Deputy Taylor Lindsay, 25, about 3 p.m., according to the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office, where the deputies worked.
The adult male gunman was found dead outside the restaurant, Sheriff Robert D. Schultz said during a news conference. Officials did not release the man’s identity or cause of death.
Investigators do not know what the shooter’s motive was, and Schultz said there are no “indications as to why this tragedy occurred.”
Schultz called the gunman a “coward” and told reporters, “I do not have answers as to why this happened.”
“The world is full of cowards and the world is full of heroes,” Schultz added. “We need to highlight those heroes and what they gave.”
Schultz also suggested that the shooting may have occurred because of an animosity for police officers.
“What do you expect to happen when you demonize law enforcement to the extent that it’s been demonized?” Schultz said during the news conference.
Ramirez, a seven-year veteran of the department, was married and had children, according to officials. Lindsey joined the department two years ago and had a girlfriend.
Ramirez and Lindsey were “the best of the best,” Schultz said. “They were men of integrity, men of loyalty. They’re God-fearing and they loved what they did. They gave their lives so that we can all be safe.”
Trenton is a small city 50 miles west of Gainesville, with a population of 2,315, according to the latest available census data.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement that he and his wife “are heartbroken” over the deputies’ deaths.
“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.”
President Donald Trump offered his condolences in a tweet.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting.