Nineteen years before police say David Brian Evans shot and killed two sheriff's deputies in suburban Harford County, he was wanted for questioning in the shooting of his ex-wife, the Harford County Sheriff's Office said Sunday.
Detectives searched for him for months in 1997. The search widened to Massachusetts and Georgia. But Evans was never found.
The sheriff's office released some details of the search Sunday. The department is mourning the deaths last week of veteran deputies Patrick Dailey and Mark Logsdon.
Investigators say Evans shot Dailey Wednesday as the deputy approached him at a Panera Bread restaurant in an Abingdon shopping center amid a lunchtime crowd. They say Evans shot Logsdon a few blocks away and then he was shot and killed.
Evans was suspected in the 1996 shooting, sheriff's office spokeswoman Cristie Kahler said, but there was never enough evidence for an arrest warrant.
Elizabeth Rupp was shot in the neck on the morning of Dec. 31, 1996, as she left her Abingdon home for work.
She felt the sting and realized she was bleeding, police said. A small-caliber bullet was recovered nearby. But she didn't see the shooter and was unable to say where the shot came from, Kahler said, so police could not issue a warrant for Evans' arrest.
"Without sufficient evidence and probable cause, charges for a warrant cannot be obtained," Kahler said. "This was the case here."
Kahler said detectives searched for Evans for several months. She could not say when they stopped.
"Detectives diligently tried to locate Evans for questioning; however, were unsuccessful in their efforts," she said. "He clearly had fled the area and detectives were never able to contact him."
Evans remained on the run before resurfacing in Harford County recently. Dailey and Logsdon were shot around lunchtime Wednesday at the Boulevard at Box Hill shopping center.
Rupp could not be reached for comment Sunday night.
Churches throughout the county dedicated services on Sunday to the deputies or law enforcement in general. Masjid Al-Falaah, a mosque in Abingdon, was among the first in the faith community to offer assistance to the sheriff's office. The congregation plans to send a group to the funerals or prayer services.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman said he wants to make sure as many employees of the sheriff's office as possible can attend the funerals this week. He expects the services to draw law enforcement officers from around the country.
"I know the county is heartbroken, but I'm proud of the way the county has pulled together," Glassman said Sunday.
"If the last week was any indication, I think we will do a good job and give them a fitting send-off."