Local News

Durham police charge man in Panera Bread flare gun shooting

Posted February 9, 2016
Updated February 10, 2016

— Durham police charged a man on Wednesday with shooting another man in the face with a flare gun during an altercation at a Panera Bread.

Todd Newland Pope, 53, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill in connection to the shooting, according to a news release from the police department. Pope is not currently in custody.

Pope and the victim got into an argument inside the bathroom of the Panera Bread on Witherspoon Drive, police said. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

Police said the two men knew each other, and this was not a random attack.

Managers at Panera Bread were not allowed to speak about the incident. Customers were surprised to hear about the shooting, but they said they were not worried.

“It was just one time. Nothing’s ever happened before in this place. If it was more often, I would be [worried],” said customer Greg Guthrie.

Anyone with information on Pope's whereabouts should call Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.


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  • Anne Havisham Feb 10, 2016
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    How fascinating! Not a single person commenting here has made assumptions about his immigration status.

    (Sarcasm font off.)

  • Fanny Chmelar Feb 10, 2016
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    "Police said the two men knew each other, and this was not a random attack."

    Lover's quarrel. Just add alcohol and a flare gun.

  • submoa Feb 9, 2016

    That's what happens when an verbal argument flares up into something more.

  • Janet Ghumri Feb 9, 2016
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    So, this guy was just hauling around a flare gun while he was grabbing a bite to eat? Seems like an odd item to carry around. However, if he had to go outside to get it and bring it back in to shoot the victim, then it may as well have been a 'regular' gun.
    I doubt if the victim even knew what kind of gun it was. The intent was the same. Point blank in the face is intent to kill.

  • Clarence Drumgoole Feb 9, 2016
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    The question is, do you need a conceal carry to purchase?

  • Nygnog Mcgee Feb 9, 2016
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    A flare gun fired point blank range at someone's face can do some real damage, if not kill a person. I speak from experience.

  • Nathaniel Hopkins Feb 9, 2016
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    i would pay good money to find out what they were arguing about.

  • Matt Clinton Feb 9, 2016
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    This couldn't possibly have happened. Panera Bread is a flare gun free zone!

  • David Hardison Feb 9, 2016
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    ... and those Breakfast Club kids all made fun of Anthony Michael Hall for having a flare gun in his locker. See? See what can happen? Detention was a good idea.

  • Evan Morris Feb 9, 2016
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    Well this is something you don't see every day. Is a flare gun a poor man's Glock?