30 miles north of Baltimore two longtime deputies were gunned down by a 68-year-old man in broad daylight. Officials in the unincorporated town of Abingdon describe the assailant, who was also killed, as a vagrant.
“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 told reporters yesterday afternoon. “It is with great sadness that I tell you both deputies who were shot earlier today have succumbed to their injuries.”
The deputies are the first to be killed in the line of duty in Abington in more than a century. One of the deputies is believed to have been targeted, said Gahler, simply because “he was in a police uniform.”
The violence broke out at a Panera Bakery in a busy shopping center in this tight-knit town. Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler identified the deputies as Patrick Dailey, who had been with the force for 30 years and was assigned to court services, and Mark Logsdon, who had been with the force 16 years and was assigned to community services.
The assailant, David Brian Evans, had two outstanding warrants, one for assaulting a police officer in Florida and a civil warrant issued in Harford County.
Details are still emerging, given the sensitivity of the on-going investigation, though police are confident the assailant acted alone.
According to witnesses, Evans was acting erratically in a booth of the restaurant during a lunchtime rush and scaring customers. It’s alleged Evans’ ex-wife was the one who called police. When Sr. Deputy Dailey arrived he approached Evans in the booth, took a seat as he attempted to calm him, and was immediately shot in the head.
Deputy Logsdon pursued the assailant to a nearby retirement home, according to witnesses. Evans was found outside the complex. He was shot, as was the second deputy.
One of the wounded deputies was taken to University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air. The other was flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.
According to Gahler, two other deputies, both on administrative leave, also fired their weapons.
Snow had the schools closed and the shopping center was packed with families. “The restaurant was very full at lunchtime,” Gahler said. “Thankfully, no one else was injured.”
According to ODMP.org, six of the eight officers killed in the line of duty this year have been due to gunfire. In San Francisco last week, a CHP officer was stabbed in the neck while responding to an agitated vagrant. He is expected to survive.
Meanwhile, a Fargo, Minn., PD officer who was shot last week during a domestic dispute will not survive his injuries, according to Chief David Todd. The officer, Jason Moszer, 33, was struck by a barricaded subject multiple times. SWAT officers rushed Moszer to the hospital, where the family recently said tearful good-byes.
To the grieving families and communities, our sincerest condolences.