Last Updated Feb 11, 2016 4:47 PM EST
ABINGDON, Md. -- The son of a gunman who fatally shot two Maryland sheriff's deputies before he was killed in a shootout says his father was a heavy drinker with emotional problems, but never spoke poorly of police.
Jeremy Evans told WBAL-TV he believes his father, David Brian Evans, 68, thought he'd spend the rest of his life behind bars and decided to get away.
David Evans, who had warrants for his arrest, fatally shot a deputy in a restaurant Wednesday and killed another deputy in shootout nearby before he was killed himself, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said.
Jeremy Evans also told the station his mother alerted authorities and left the restaurant where the first shooting occurred before a deputy arrived. He said David Evans, 68, shot his mother 20 years ago and she believed he was there to hurt her Wednesday.
Gahler said Evans shot the deputies because he didn't want to go to jail, but didn't specifically target them because they were law enforcement. Evans had warrants out for his arrest in Harford County and Orange County, Florida, where he was accused of assaulting a police officer.
The slain officers were identified as Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey and Senior Deputy Mark Logsdon, who were described as a 30-year veteran and a 16-year veteran respectively.
Dailey was the officer who first approached Evans inside a Panera just before noon, CBS Baltimore reports. When he approached Evans to engage him, Evans pulled a gun and shot Dailey before he could react.
After Evans left, another deputy administered lifesaving efforts on Dailey.
Dailey, a former Marine, is survived by his girlfriend, two children and his mother. Dailey also served with the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company. He received a Stay of Life award in 2003 for rescuing a driver pinned inside a burning car on Christmas Eve.
Logsdon was the second deputy to respond to the scene, and he was also shot by Evans, who had fled to a car in the parking lot of a senior living apartment center, authorities said. Logsdon was able to return fire before other deputies shot and killed Evans.
Logsdon, who previously served with the U.S. Army, is survived by his wife, three children and his parents. He was honored with a Valor commendation in 2006 for getting a suicidal man to put down a shotgun, CBS Baltimore reports.
In South Florida to discuss policing issues, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Thursday that the shooting highlights the danger that police officers face every day.
Three sheriff's deputies have been assigned to help the deputies' families grieve in the aftermath. A Go Fund Me page has been set up for the deputies as well.
"This is a tragic day for the Harford County Sheriff's Office," Gahler said, his eyes moist with tears.
"They were two outstanding deputies who served the citizens of this community faithfully."
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan ordered flags to be flown at half-staff to honor the officers.
Since the shooting several memorials have popped up, CBS Baltimore reports.
Gahler said that they will continue to investigate the shooting -- looking at every aspect from the deputies' response to more on Evans' background.
The sheriff's office is trying to get more details about an incident Evans had with police in Florida in October. The suspect's gun, however, was legally purchased in Pennsylvania in 1993.
The initial shooting took place inside a Panera restaurant in Abingdon, about 20 miles northeast of Baltimore.
Sophia Faulkner, 15, said she and her mother were getting lunch and almost sat right next to the gunman. Instead, they chose a booth about 10 feet away because the man appeared "sketchy" and disheveled. He was sitting in the back of the restaurant and hadn't ordered any food, Faulkner said.
She said the deputy tried to talk to the man, who was apparently known to officers and workers at the restaurant. The deputy sat down, asked how he was doing, and the man shot him in the head.
"I saw him fall back out of his chair, and the blood started coming out," Faulkner said. "I didn't know how to process it. My mom said, 'What's going on?' and I said, 'Get down. Someone just got shot.'"
The shooter fled and "everyone started screaming," Faulkner said. Children at the restaurant - out of school because of snowfall - were running around.
Her mother, Lynn Faulkner, a registered nurse, said she recognized the man and believed he was mentally ill and in need of social services.
"I've seen him there frequently, and I've seen him at areas of the library," she said. "He's definitely in need of mental health care, and he never should have had a gun."
Witnesses gave officers a description of the gunman and told them which way he was headed, the sheriff said. Deputies caught up with him and shots were exchanged, the sheriff said.
One of the deputies was treated at the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Video showed an ambulance and a sheriff's car escorted by police on motorcycles leaving, apparently taking the body to the nearby state medical examiner's office. Police lined each side of the street and saluted when the vehicles drove by.
The sheriff said investigators believe Evans acted alone.
"The restaurant was very full at lunchtime," Gahler said. "Thankfully, no one else was injured."
The shopping center is called the Boulevard at Box Hill. It has a mix of shops, restaurants, a grocery store and a bank.
Yellow tape blocked off the Panera and Taphouse restaurants Wednesday afternoon, but people were coming and going freely at other businesses after the shooting.
Panera spokeswoman Amanda Cardosi said the company is heartbroken.
"Our thoughts and actions now are directed towards the victims and their families. This location will remain closed as we work with law enforcement to investigate," she said.