Authorities say that on Thursday, Highnote walked into a Chinese restaurant in the nearby town of Trenton, went up to Gilchrist County deputies Sgt. Noel Ramirez and deputy Taylor Lindsey and fired at them before they had a chance to react.
The deputies, Sergeant Noel Ramirez and Deputy Sheriff Taylor Lindsey (shown), were originally reported to have been shot through the window in the restaurant, but subsequent statements by the Gilchrist County Sheriff's office state that the gunman, John Hubert Highnote, 59, of Bell, Florida, entered the restaurant and ambushed the two deputies as they were eating.
Gilchrist County's chaplain, Pastor Patrick Bible, also spoke at the non-denominational service. The two heroes will be buried at Bronson Cemetery in Bronson that afternoon.
Fifty-eight-year-old John Hubert Highnote had bought a house on a quiet, tree-lined dirt road outside of the tiny town of Bell in 2010, but didn't speak to neighbors and wasn't familiar at the few restaurants or shops on Main Street. He then went into his vehicle and killed himself.
Sheriff Bobby Schultz blamed the deaths on hatred toward law enforcement. "It's inexplicable", State Attorney Bill Cervone said.
Deputy Lindsey had served with the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office for two years.
"Two holes in the window are visible tonight", Schultz said.
Ramirez, 29, was a 7-year veteran of the force and leaves behind a wife and two young children. He was found dead outside the business, the sheriff's office said.
Records show he was arrested by the Pinellas Park Police Department in 1978 on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon. Other than the fact, what do you expect happens when you demonize law enforcement to the extent that it's been demonized? "Heavy hearts, heavy heavy hearts, but also proud, proud of our guys that would go out every day not even knowing if they will get home, just to protect us", she said.
"Like all of our fearless law enforcement officers, Sgt. Ramirez and Dep. Lindsey woke up each day and made the decision to courageously serve our community and keep it's residents safe".
Schultz described the two deputies as men of integrity and loyalty.
President Trump was among leaders across the country to send their condolences, calling the deputies "heroes". "We love our law enforcement", said Brian Parker, ride captain for the Patriot Guard Riders. He's been in law enforcement for more than seven years, with stops at the Williston Police Department and Levy County Sheriff's Office.
Schultz said he rushed to the scene, and then had the hard task of calling the families of Ramirez, who is survived by his wife and two young children, and Lindsey, who joined the sheriff's office in 2013.