An argument over the line for a Popeyes sandwich turned deadly on Sudnay.
Irene Jiang / Business Insider

An argument between two men waiting in line for a Popeyes fried-chicken sandwich in the United States  turned deadly when one fatally stabbed the other, according to the police.

Jennifer Donelan, a spokeswoman for the Prince George's County Police Department, said two men were arguing inside a Popeyes in Oxon Hill, Maryland, south of Washington, DC, on Monday evening. The disagreement was apparently sparked when one person cut in front of the other in line, Donelan said.

The argument spilled out into the street, with one man stabbing the other. The victim, a 28-year-old man, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

"We have determined, preliminarily, that this is related to the release of the sandwich here at this restaurant," Donelan told the press late Monday.

"That this individual was in line, a line specifically for the sale of the sandwich, when another customer - and he got into an altercation, and that ended with the victim being stabbed outside of the business."

Popeyes has a small presence in South Africa, where it has nowhere near the cult status of fried-chicken competitors KFC and Chicken Licken. But the chain is a major player in American fast food, and after it launched its chicken burger nationally in mid-August the "sandwich", as it is known in the US, became a sensation. Customers mobbed stores, which ran out of ingredients, leading to a "bring your own bun" promotion.

The "sandwich" then disappeared from menus for two months – before returning on the weekend.

That, it seems, ultimately led to the fatal stabbing in Maryland.

The police are now asking that the man who stabbed the victim turn himself in. Donelan said that she had not spoken with Popeyes and that the police were focusing on finding the person who stabbed the victim.

"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.

"We are very sad to hear about the tragedy in Maryland tonight," Popeyes said in a statement.

"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. Our thoughts are with the victim's family and friends and we are fully cooperating with local authorities."

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