Two Maryland sheriff’s deputies have died after being shot by a gunman who was later killed by police, authorities said.
One of the deputies was shot inside the Abingdon, Md., Panera Bread store without warning after he spoke with the suspect, a witness said.
The sheriff's office was called to the Panera Bread for some issue with the suspect at 11:46 a.m., officials said, and a deputy was shot inside the restaurant. The gunman fled, and a second responding deputy found him at the bottom of a hill and was then fatally shot.
"Additional deputies on scene fired at the suspect. He was pronounced dead at the scene,” Gahler said. "A loaded handgun was recovered ... from the suspect inside the vehicle with him," Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said.
The suspect was identified as David Bryan Evans, 67, and the two deputies had 30 and 16 years of experience on the force, Gahler said. He asked for prayers for the deputies’ families.
"There’s no words to describe what they’re going through right now," Gahler said.
The names of slain deputies were not yet released.
"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.
At least two other deputies fired at Evans, but it isn’t yet known who fired the fatal shots, Gahler said.
A witness inside the Panera Bread, a 15-year-old girl, told reporters that the deputy sat down beside the suspect and was shot without warning.
"I saw him fall back out of his chair and the blood started coming out," she said, according to The Associated Press. "I didn't know how to process it. My mom said, 'What's going on?' and I said, 'Get down, someone just got shot.'"
People started screaming as the gunman ran out the back door, Faulkner said, and families fled to the other side of the restaurant and huddled together.
"You see this stuff in movies and online and everything on TV when it actually 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," the teenager told NBC affiliate WBAL.
Gahler said Evans had two outstanding warrants, one out of Florida for assaulting an officer and for fleeing and eluding, and another civil writ out of Harford County.
Gahler said he believes the sheriff's office was called to the restaurant "because someone knew who he was," NBC affiliate WBAL reported.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan called the deputies’ deaths “absolutely heartbreaking” and saluted their service. He ordered flags flown at half-staff.
"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," Hogan said in a statement.
"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.
There were 124 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2015, although only 42 involved firearms, according to a report from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Most were killed in traffic-related incidents.