More than 50 law enforcement officers, rescue personnel, friends and family members gathered at the Ace China restaurant in Trenton on Monday to commemorate two fallen Gilchrist County Deputy Sheriffs with a moment of silence.
Dixie County Deputy Kyle Schultz made opening remarks about heroes Sgt. Noel Ramirez and Deputy Taylor Lindsey, who died from gunshot wounds delivered as they ate lunch in the restaurant on April 19, 2018.
Law enforcement from Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Levy County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the State Attorney’s Office all responded to the scene back on the day of the murders. And three years later most of those agencies showed up again to pay tribute at Monday’s remembrance.
The suspect was found deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on the scene and was identified as John Hubert Highnote, 59, of Bell. Investigators never established a motive for the crime.
The community has remained vigilant and dedicated to keeping the memory of the officers alive through annual events and the display of banners, flags and ribbons throughout Trenton and beyond. Ramirez was 29 years old and left behind two small children, while Taylor was just 25 years old.
Kristin Hite was dating Taylor at the time of the shooting. She had the idea of paying tribute on the third anniversary of the incident by inviting law enforcement and the community to the restaurant for a moment of silence that began at 15:03, the time the call for shot fired was dispatched. It ended at 15:10, the first arrival at the scene known as code 10-97.
“I just decided it was something I wanted to do and reached out to friends and made it a Facebook event so more people could come out,” Hite said.
Trenton Public Safety Chief Matthew Rexroat spoke at the gathering.
“It shows that we don’t want to forget this,” he said, suggesting other ways of remembering the deputies in upcoming years.
“We could switch this over to training,” he said. “And strive to make ourselves better for them. They gave up a lot.”
Sheriff Bobby Schultz led the group in prayer.