Chaos broke out at a Panera Bread restaurant in Abingdon, Maryland, on Feb. 10, when a man shot and killed two Harford County sheriff's deputies. The names of the victims have not been released because their extended families have not been notified, but they were described and 16 and 30-year veterans of the force.
Deputies were dispatched to the area to investigate a warrant for a man at the Panera Bread restaurant, when David Brian Evans pulled a gun out and shot one of the deputies, the New York Times reported.
“I saw him fall back out of his chair, and the blood started coming out,” witness Sophia Faulkner, 15, told The Associated Press via the New York Times. “I didn’t know how to process it. My mom said, ‘What’s going on?’ and I said, ‘Get down, someone just got shot.’”
The second deputy was shot while responding to the scene, after Evans fled. Although both officers survived the initial gunshot, they later died at Maryland hospitals. Evans was killed in an exchange of gunfire, and the two officers who fired their weapons have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
Evans, whom officials told The Baltimore Sun was a “vagrant,” had two outstanding warrants, one of which was for assaulting a police officer in Florida. Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said he believes the deputies were not random victims. “I think the suspect took that action because he was wearing a police uniform,” he told The Washington Post. “He certainly targeted him.”
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman ordered all county flags to be lowered to half-staff. "We are grateful that these deputies did give the ultimate sacrifice for all of us," he said. "We also want to celebrate, with their families, their lives and their dedication to service."
Gov. Larry Hogan also expressed his condolences. "The first lady and I send our most sincere thoughts and prayers to the families and loved ones of the brave deputies who made the ultimate sacrifice today for the community they selflessly served.
"It is my hope that their commitment and dedication to law enforcement and protecting others will be remembered and will forever serve as an inspiration to others."