Reporting Mary Bubala
SANDY SPRING, Md. (WJZ)—Police open fire inside a Maryland restaurant after a man goes in and points a gun at patrons and himself.
Mary Bubala reports police took him down before anyone else was hurt.
“He’s pointing at his forehead with his right hand. I think he’s saying ‘Shoot me right here,’” a patron said.
Around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, gunfire disrupted dinner rush at Urban Bar-B-Que on Olney Sandy Spring Road after police are forced to open fire, fearing for the safety of patrons.
“She said ‘He’s got a gun. He’s pointing it at his head. He’s pointing it at me, and he’s pointing it at his head.’ That’s when she came scurrying in there. She was freaking out,” a customer said.
Not wanting to go on camera, a customer told WJZ the man shot by police had come into the restaurant and then wandered back out into the porch area. With the gun cocked and his finger on the trigger, witnesses say he was carelessly waving it around, ignoring the bartender’s requests to stop.
“Once everyone gets inside, he says he’s got a gun on his lap. It’s cocked, and he’s got his finger on the trigger. Everyone get away from the door,” a customer said.
Jacob and Whitney Bozarth were already inside when the standoff started. Scared, they grabbed their 4-month-old baby and ran for safety.
“Took off to the back with our babies and just praying,” said Whitney Bozarth, Olney resident.
“Obviously chaotic, and I think most people were caught off guard when they heard the gun shots and then everyone took off toward the back of the building,” said Jacob Bozarth, Olney resident.
Police were called, and once face-to-face with the suspect, he was ordered to drop the weapon. They say he refused, they felt threatened, and so they fired.
“There was some sort of confrontation. Two officers fired. He was transported to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries,” said Capt. Paul Starks, Montgomery County Police Department.
The officers were placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure. The shooting’s circumstances, including the number of shots fired, are under investigation.