Two sheriff’s deputies have died after a gunman opened fire inside a crowded Panera restaurant in Maryland.
David Brian Evans, 67, first fatally shot a sheriff’s deputy in the head inside the restaurant in Abingdon at lunchtime on Wednesday, then killed the other deputy in a shootout later, authorities said.
The suspect was also killed in the exchange of gunfire not far from the Boulevard at Box Hill, the shopping center where the restaurant was located, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said.
Remarkably, no bystanders were hurt.
Police have not released a motive for the shooting, but the sheriff said he believed the first deputy who approached the gunman was shot ‘because he was wearing a uniform.’
Evans had warrants out for his arrest in Harford County and Florida, where he was accused of assaulting a police officer and fleeing and eluding.
Gahler said a loaded handgun was recovered from him.
The slain officers were described as a 30-year veteran and the other a 16-year veteran. The sheriff said he had met with both of their families but was withholding their names because more relatives needed to be notified.
‘This is a tragic day for the Harford County Sheriff’s Office,’ Gahler said, his eyes moist with tears.
‘They were two outstanding deputies who served the citizens of this community faithfully.’
A 15-year-old girl, who witnessed the initial shooting inside the sandwich shop, said she had been in a booth with her mother just 10 feet away when the terror unfolded.
Sophia Faulkner said she almost sat right next to the gunman – but instead, she and her mother chose a booth a little further away because the man appeared ‘sketchy’ and disheveled.
He was sitting in the back and hadn’t ordered any food, she said.
A sheriff’s deputy arrived at the restaurant at around 11.45am to check on a report about the man causing a problem.
Read more: Daily Mail