2 slain sheriff's deputies laid to rest in Florida

'WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?': Florida deputies shot through restaurant window; sheriff blames hate

The public viewing will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. followed by a non-denominational service at 11 a.m.at Bell Middle/High School in Bell. "They were the best of the best", Sheriff Schultz said. He's been in law enforcement for more than seven years, with stops at the Williston Police Department and Levy County Sheriff's Office. The two deputies - identified as 30-year-old Sgt. Noel Ramirez and 25-year-old Deputy Taylor Lindsey - died from their injuries, according to the sheriff.

Highnote came from a small town just up the road from the Ace China restaurant in Trenton, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) west of Gainesville. The sheriff described Ramirez and Lindsey as "the best of the best".

When asked why he was presiding over the news conference, an emotional Tummond said Schultz was grieving with his family.

"Gilchrist has no idea what drove this man to this cowardly act", Tummond said. He was found dead outside the business, the sheriff's office said.

Other than being cited for making an improper turn in 2012, Highnote has nothing on his record in Gilchrist County.

Records show that Highnote had a long and violent criminal history, going back to a charge of illegally concealing a handgun in 1978. Saying that the senseless deaths of the two deputies hit him "like a ton of bricks", Schultz also said, "What do you expect happens when you demonize law enforcement to the extent it's been demonized?"

Following the shooting, law enforcement officers from throughout north Florida traveled to Gilchrist County to assist the local Sheriff's Office with protective patrols and investigative assistance.

"The only thing these men were guilty of was wanting to protect you and me".

Schultz described the two deputies as men of integrity and loyalty. "My deepest condolences and prayers are with their families as they mourn the devastating loss of their loved ones".

The accused shooter, John Highnote, 59, shot and killed himself in the parking lot after shooting the deputies, investigators say.

While his office has not released information about a motive, Schultz indicated that the culture of hatred toward law enforcement - the war on cops - is ultimately to blame.

"I have children about the same age and I can't imagine not having the opportunity to never talk to them again. It's inexplicable", adding, "people will want to know why and we may never have an answer for them".

Schultz said his department received thousands of handwritten cards and that the outpouring speaks volumes about Ramirez and Lindsey.

President Trump was among leaders across the country to send their condolences, calling the deputies "heroes".

Lindsey, who the sheriff said worked on Ramirez's shift, served more than three years with the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office, first joining the agency in 2013.

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