FDLE: Man who killed 2 Florida deputies left racist, threatening notes

Gilchrist County deputies gunned down while eating lunch in Trenton


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The 59-year-old who shot and killed two Gilchrist County deputies as they were eating lunch at a Trenton restaurant last spring was an angry man who hated law enforcement, according to the final report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The agency's final report said witnesses heard seven to 10 shots fired into the Ace China Restaurant as John Highnote killed Sgt. Noel Ramirez and Deputy Taylor Lindsey on April 19. FDLE said Highnote was seen leaving the restaurant carrying an assault rifle and getting into a Jeep Cherokee, where he killed himself.

FDLE agents described Highnote as a loner, a recluse and high strung. Hate and racist propaganda were found in the Jeep, and others left at his house in Bell, in northern Gilchrist County. Some of the notes included threats to law enforcement officers.

The report shows he called cops "PIGS AND LEACHES" and said, "ALL COPS ARE EVIL, STUPID, LAZY and live off the backs of everyday people."

FDLE found that Highnote did not know or have previous run-ins with Lindsey or Ramirez before killing them. Records show Highnote had no criminal history and no known photo of him was ever found.

The report also noted that Highnote was spotted drinking beer in his Jeep outside Coleman Construction in Newberry earlier that day. Citing his anger issues, that company had fired Highnote 2½ years earlier.

The medical examiner's report shows Highnote had alcohol in his system when he died and a retracing of his route shows Highnote likely sideswiped a power pole on U.S. 27 on his way to Trenton from his home.

Highnote's body was never claimed. A few after the deputies were killed, Highnote's home burned to the ground.

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