The Mall in Columbia, Maryland was the scene of a gruesome shooting on Saturday, according a Jan. 25 CNN report. A gunman armed with “a large amount of ammunition” and explosives shot and killed two workers before taking his own life on the second floor of the mall.
“This should not happen at the Columbia Mall,” Howard County Police Chief Bill McMahon told reporters. The dead workers were identified by police as 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo of College Park, and 25-year-old Tyler Johnson of Ellicott City. Johnson and Benlolo both worked at Zumiez, a skating shop, where the shootings took place.
According to The Baltimore Sun, five other people were injured. The injured victims, including one who was shot in the foot, were treated at Howard County General Hospital and released. The shooter’s motive is still unclear, but one witness, Shafon Robinson, observed that the shooter appeared to be between 18 and 21 years old and was wearing khaki pants and a white shirt.
Robinson for her part was lucky to escape the shooter’s wrath. “He looked straight at me,” Robinson said, and he reloaded the shotgun and aimed it at [the young girl with Robinson]. “He pointed the gun at me and looked at my eyes,” she added, noting that her husband, Terrance Lilly, screamed at her to get down, which she did as a shot rang over her head, striking the wall behind her. A second shot missed and hit the cover of a fire extinguisher.
Police Chief McMahon expressed his sympathy to those affected by the shootings. “Our hearts go out to the families of the people who lost their life today.” McMahon said. "This shouldn't happen in Columbia mall, it shouldn't happen anywhere, but unfortunately that's where we are as a society.”
The Mall in Columbia is on police lockdown through Sunday, according to its management.