TRENTON, Fla. (WOFL FOX 51) - Gilchrist County residents are rallying around the families of two fallen sheriff’s deputies who were shot while eating at a local Chinese restaurant. At the restaurant where the shooting happened, there was a pile of flowers and American flags. But it was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to the community's response to this tragedy.
On Trenton’s main street, blue and black was everywhere you look. People put out flags and ribbons, and signs urged everyone to pray for their fallen heroes: deputies Noel Ramirez and Taylor Lindsey.
Tony Lopez owns the gym where the deputies worked out.
“Really good, really good people,” Lopez recalled, “Noel would always talk to you when you come in. Talk about his wife, kids. A real good guy.”
The Sheriff's Office said John Highnote shot the deputies while they sat in the restaurant, then they said he went to a car in the parking lot and shot himself. Lopez said now is the time to honor the deputies.
“Actually talk about the fact that they're heroes and they deserve every bit of the attention, and not go to the person that did this cowardly act,” Lopez said.
The city commission held an emergency meeting tonight to vote on donating cemetery plots for Ramirez and Lindsey. Jeff Cherry, a local restaurant owner, said Trenton needs time to heal.
“I think you're going to see a small community that's broken right now, but is going to have a certain measure of resilience and we're going to come back stronger than ever,” Cherry said.
The Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office said this is their first deaths in the line of duty since 1956. They're holding a candlelight vigil Saturday in front of the county courthouse at 8 p.m..