Two sheriff’s deputies were fatally shot Wednesday at a busy Maryland shopping center by a man with a history of violence against police, officials said.
Officials identified the two officers killed as Senior Deputies Mark Logsdon and Patrick Dailey, both seasoned veterans of the Harford County Sheriff’s Department.
The man, identified by police as 68-year-old David Evans, was killed in the resulting shootout.
Dailey responded to a call at the Panera Bread in Abingdon about 11:45 a.m., where a man was causing a problem, Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said.
He sat down next to the man and tried speaking with him, asking him how he was doing, when the man shot the Dailey in the head without warning, authorities said.
Gahler said he believed the first deputy was shot because he was wearing a uniform.
Evans fled the restaurant toward the nearby Parkview Apartments but Logsdon caught up to him and shots were exchanged, leaving Logsdon wounded and Evans dead, Gahler said.
Logsdon later died at the hospital.
Dailey was a 30-year veteran of the force and served in the Court Services Division.
He was also a lifelong member of the Joppa Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company. He is survived by his two children, girlfriend and mother.
Logsdon had 16 years on the force and was assigned to the Community Services Division, officials said. He is survived by his wife, three children and parents.
Both deputies served in the military. Dailey served in the Marines, while Logsdon served in the United States Army, authorities said.
“Today is a sad day for the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, and the citizens of Harford County who we are sworn to serve,” Gahler said.
Evans had at least two outstanding warrants in two states, including one criminal warrant for assaulting a police officer in Florida, authorities said.
Evans' son, Jeremy Evans, told local media that his father was a heavy-drinking military veteran with emotional problems, but never spoke poorly of police.
Jeremy Evans told WBAL-TV his mother, Evans' ex-wife, had alerted authorities that his father was at the restaurant and left before they arrived.
He said his father shot his mother 20 years ago and when she saw him at Panera, she thought he would hurt her, WBAL-TV reported.
Jeremy Evans told reporters he believed his father thought he'd spend the rest of his life in jail and decided to try to get away.
At least two deputies fired rounds at Evans. Per protocol, both were placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, officials said.
A loaded handgun was recovered from the suspect, police said.
No bystanders were hurt in the incident, Gahler said.
Investigators believe Evans acted alone and that there was no further threat to the safety of the community.
“The outpouring of support from the community and businesses has been truly humbling,” Gahler said. “I continue to be proud of the men and women of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and the community we serve.”
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan also offered his prayers to the families of the fallen deputies.
“Anytime law enforcement or first responders lose their lives in the line of duty, it is a tragedy and today’s violence in Abingdon and the deaths of two Harford County sheriff’s deputies is nothing less than absolutely heartbreaking,” Hogan said in a statement Wednesday.
The Governor’s administration and the Maryland State Police were assisting local law enforcement in their investigation.
“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,” Hogan said.
Flags in Harford were flown at half-staff Thursday to honor the two fallen deputies, officials said.