Police identify gunman in deadly Maryland mall shooting - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Police identify gunman in deadly Maryland mall shooting

Posted: Updated:
By Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News

Police on Sunday morning identified the gunman in a deadly Maryland mall shooting, who killed two skate shop employees on Saturday.

Officials said Darion Marcus Aguilar, 19, of College Park, was responsible for the rampage that took the lives of two workers at a Zumiez store on Saturday.

Cops believe Aguilar, armed with a Mossberg shotgun and "a large amount of ammunition" opened fire in the store in a shopping mall in Columbia, Md., near Baltimore, before killing himself, Howard County, Md., Chief of Police Bill McMahon said Sunday.

The victims have been identified by police as Brianna Benlolo, 21, of College Park, Md., and Tyler Johnson, 25, of Mount Airy, Md. The male shooter, whose body was found nearby, had a shotgun and ammunition on him, McMahon said. 

Although one of the victims lives in the same town as the suspect, police said there was no immediate connection between the two. McMahon said police are trying to determine whether Aguilar knew either of the victims.

"We want to find out why this occurred," McMahon said. "We still have some unanswered questions."

McMahon said that surveillance video showed Aguilar was dropped off at the Mall in Columbia an hour before he started shooting and made "very limited movement" within the mall before he fired between 6-8 shots.

"We're still working to determining exactly where all those shots went," McMahon said. One person suffered a gunshot wound to the foot, and four others were injured during the chaos. All five were treated and released from the hospital Saturday night, according to Howard County General Hospital.

McMahon also said that Aguilar had bought the Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun in Montgomery County Md., in December.

It took several hours to identify the gunman since he was carrying ammunition and a backpack and police thought he may have had explosives. "When we originally found the shooter, he still had a lot of ammunition on his person," McMahon said.

Police said they disabled crude attempts at homemade explosive devices inside the shooter's bag.

Investigators searched the mall and Aguilar's body for any other explosives, but did not find anything more.

McMahon also said police did find ammunition in Aguilar's home, where he lived with his mother. Investigators also seized computers and documents, McMahon said.

The mall would be closed Sunday as police continued to search for a motive in the deadly slayings. The mall should reopen on Tuesday, at the latest, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said on Sunday.

McMahon called the mall "the main street for Columbia," adding that the closed shopping center would not only economically impact the community of less than 100,000, but would likely also have a deep psychological impact on residents.

When the mall does reopen, McMahon said grief counselors would be on site and "we will ensure that we have a strong police presence here so that people will feel comfortable and safe."

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