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ABINGDON, Md. (AP) — A gunman fatally shot a sheriff’s deputy inside a crowded restaurant at lunchtime Wednesday and killed another deputy in a shootout nearby, authorities and witnesses said.

The suspect was killed in the shootout not far from the shopping center where the restaurant was situated, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said. Remarkably, no bystanders were hurt.

Police haven’t 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. The shooter, 67-year-old David Brian Evans, had warrants out for his arrest in Harford County and Orange County, Florida, where he was accused of assaulting a police officer.

The slain officers were described as a 30-year veteran and 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.”

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan ordered flags to be flown at half-staff to honor the officers.

The initial shooting took place inside a Panera restaurant in Abingdon, which is about 20 miles northeast of Baltimore.

Sophia Faulkner, 15, said she and her mother were getting lunch and almost sat right next to the gunman. Instead, they chose a booth about 10 feet away because the man appeared “sketchy” and disheveled. He was sitting in the back of the restaurant and hadn’t ordered any food, Faulkner said.

A sheriff’s deputy was called to the restaurant just before noon, presumably because “someone knew who he was,” Gahler said.

The deputy tried to talk to the man, who was apparently known to officers and workers at the restaurant. The deputy sat down, asked how he was doing, and the man shot him in the head.

“I saw him fall back out of his chair, and the blood started coming out,” Faulkner said. “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 shooter fled and “everyone started screaming,” Faulkner said. Children at the restaurant — out of school because of snowfall — were running around.

“I was freaking out so much, and everybody was running to one side of the store. Families were huddling together. I didn’t really know what was going on,” she said. “You see this stuff online and in movies and on TV when it happens, but you never think you’re going to go out to lunch one day with your mom and it’s just going to happen.”

Her mother, Lynn Faulkner, a registered nurse, said that she recognized the man and believed he was mentally ill and in need of social services.

“I’ve seen him there frequently, and I’ve seen him at areas of the library,” she said. “He’s definitely in need of mental health care, and he never should have had a gun.”

“He knew what he was doing, because he shot right for the head,” she continued.

“Apparently, the policeman tried to come up to him, ‘Hi, how are you doing,’ — he’s living in this store — and, ‘Can you try to move on?’ or ‘Why are you here today?’ and that’s when he immediately pulled out the gun and shot him.”

Bartender Mike Davis was working at the Ocean City Brewing Co.’s Taphouse when he saw two women and a child run from Panera to his restaurant’s back door.

“They were hysterical. They said they heard gunshots,” he said. “We locked the door and went to talk to a cop. The cop said not to let anyone in. Then, we heard more gunshots — pop, pop, pop, pop — from down in the shopping center. It was hectic.”

Witnesses gave officers a description of the gunman and told them which way he was headed, the sheriff said. Deputies caught up with him and shots were exchanged, the sheriff said.

One of the deputies was treated at the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Video showed an ambulance and a sheriff’s car escorted by police on motorcycles leaving, apparently taking the body to the nearby state medical examiner’s office. Police lined each side of the street and saluted when the vehicles drove by.

The sheriff said investigators believe Evans acted alone and there is no further threat to the community.

“The restaurant was very full at lunchtime,” Gahler said. “Thankfully, no one else was injured.”

The shopping center is called the Boulevard at Box Hill. It has a mix of shops, restaurants, a grocery store and a bank.

Yellow tape blocked off the Panera and Taphouse restaurants Wednesday afternoon, but people were coming and going freely at other businesses after the shooting.

Panera spokeswoman Amanda Cardosi said the company is heartbroken.

“Our thoughts and actions now are directed towards the victims and their families. This location will remain closed as we work with law enforcement to investigate,” she said.

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10 thoughts on “Two Deputies Shot And Killed At Maryland Shopping Center

  1. Honestly on said:

    Cave n!@@er on cave n!@@er violence, who cares!! Had he been a man of color he would have drawn their attention, but since he was a fellow neanderthal ape he got the benefit of the doubt. Cave n!@@ers hate cops more than anyone, fact!! They should have never been let out of the caves of Europe.

  2. Johnny Nelson on said:

    Re: kates1221, so you are saying if that was you sitting in the back of a restaurant, having a bad day, but looking “sketchy” and disheveled to others, you would want officers to come in, say nothing then shoot you ?… better to be quiet and be thought a fool…..

    • I don’t know about that Johnny. I’ll bet if the two officers that were slaughtered by this animal could have a do over, they wouldn’t think the notion too foolish. Know what? I’ll bet my forty acres and a mule that their families and friends don’t think so either. But of course they don’t get a second chance to correct their mistake. And treating a man with multiple arrests, one for assaulting a police officer as if he’s a bosom buddy was most definitely a mistake. Ya think?

  3. This is what happens when cops ask questions first and shoot later. Too bad they let themselves be bullied into putting themselves in danger to appease a nation of whiners. RIP.

  4. reflections on said:

    Occupations more dangerous than police work: Truck drivers, trash collector, construction worker, roofers airline pilots, farmers and electricians. No one is forced to be a police officer. In 2015, 40 police officers were killed and most of them killed themselves yet over 1,200 citizen were killed by police . Stop the media ,police union and the FOP from perpetrating this outright lie about a fake war on cops. Not true.

    • Timothy Green on said:

      Reflections without the context of every encounter your #’s dont really mean much to neither support or criticize the police 1200 people killed by police… Ok….were they ALL just sitting at bible study & the cops busted in & shot them in the head?? No the majority of those deaths were violent escalating conflicts, only A FEW being questionable.. And your #’s dont mention how many officers are injured in commision of their duty and DEFINATELY doesnt speak of how many violent perpetrators are taken off the streets, bashing the police is soooo easy, the cold hard truth is that they are necessary because there are quite a few people in this world with ZERO regard for others & without the police to respond to these individuals it would be Chicago all across America, the fact is there are bad shitty cops, just like there are shitty people everywhere, but in both the good far outweighs the bad

  5. Timothy Green on said:

    The stigma being perpetuated that all cops are out to kill & violate blacks because of the actions of a less than 0.25% of the police population is the same stigma used to paint minorities as being violent thugs because the actions of a few, combating ignorance with more ignorance is a losing battle, once these cops werent “dirty” i morn their deaths just like i morn the death of anyother innocents

  6. Honestly on said:

    Two less savages with badges. Funny how they don’t fear depraved and angry white men. Yet slaughter Nubian men, women and children and tell the racist lie they feared for their lives.

    • Your name is the greatest misnomer I have ever come across. In Chicago, YTD, 64 shot and killed, just 1 cop as the shooter. Funny how you avoid facts. Funny how BLM doesn’t care about black lives unless a cop is involved. Actually it’s not funny, it’s sad.

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