Police are still investigating the fatal stabbing of a man who authorities say was killed outside a Popeyes after a fight that may have stemmed from the restaurant's popular chicken sandwich.
A 28-year-old man was in line at the Oxon Hill, Maryland, location of the fast-food restaurant when an argument broke out between him and another customer Monday night, Prince George's County police spokeswoman Jennifer Donelan said.
One man cut in front of another in a line designated for those ordering the chicken sandwich, police said. The argument spilled out of the restaurant in the 6200 block of Livingston Road at about 7 p.m., and the victim, whom police have not yet named, was stabbed.
The victim was taken to a hospital where he died less than an hour later. The assailant fled and police urged him to turn himself in to authorities.
"For you to get that angry over anything; for that type of anger to develop into this type of violence . . . is a very sad and tragic day," Donelan said Monday night outside the restaurant.
The stabbing occurred one day after the restaurant chain began offering its chicken sandwich again after sold-out sales this summer.
Popeyes released a statement saying the company is "very sad to hear about the tragedy in Maryland."
"We do not yet know whether this was the result of a dispute over one of our products or something unrelated, but there is no reason for someone to lose their life on a Monday night in a parking lot," the company said in the statement. "Our thoughts are with the victim's family and friends and we are fully cooperating with local authorities."
Mania over the chicken sandwich began in August when the company introduced it with social media hype that went viral. Customers reported waiting hours in line and backing up drive-throughs to try the sandwich that was immediately met with glowing reviews. The sandwich was so popular that the company depleted its initial inventory within weeks.
The sandwich, which retails for $3.99 according to Forbes and other outlets, developed a cult following, with some people dressing up as the meal for Halloween. In a short video announcing the rerelease of the sandwich on Twitter, a line of trucks travels down a freeway with ominous music playing and the accompanying text: "This is not a drill... We're fully stocked."
The killing in Oxon Hill is not the first instance of violence apparently related to the buzz over the sandwich.
In September, Houston Police reported a man "pulled a gun on employees of restaurant after they ran out of chicken sandwich." Employees of the store have reported that they've been threatened by customers upset over the sold-out item.