Columbia Mall, located in Howard County in the city of Columbia, Maryland, reopens for business today after the Saturday morning tragedy that reached national headlines. Local media sources announced the mall will open at 1 p.m. with increased police protection.
The Saturday shooting happened around 11 a.m. when the shooter, 19-year-old Darion Marcus Aguilar, killed 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo and 25-year-old Tyler Johnson. Both worked at the mall and possibly at the place where the shooting took place; which was the sporting goods and skate shop Zumiez. Aguilar then turned the gun on himself. He had no prior criminal record.
Police are trying to find a motive for the killing. CNN reported the following scenario –
On Saturday, a federal official briefed on the shooting told CNN that preliminary information suggested the shooter aimed only at the two victims, perhaps indicating it was a domestic situation and not a wider shooting spree.
Aguilar purchased the 12-gauge shotgun, made by Mossberg, in December.
He added that police served a search and seizure warrant at the shooter's house and retrieved documents, computers and other potential evidence, including a journal. In that journal, Aguilar "does express some general unhappiness with his life, but I really don't have any other information about that now," the chief said.
The Baltimore Sun had this to report –
Officials acknowledged that the mall will never be the same after a gunman killed two people in a skate shop Saturday morning, but Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said he hoped people would be able to shop there without fear.
"We know that a terrible, tragic incident occurred here, we'll always know what happened," Ulman said. "On the other hand, look around. People are back. They're shopping; they're eating."
Benlolo was a single mother with a one-year-old. Johnson was a student at Montgomery College and helped those with drug problems.
The Baltimore Sun further reported –
"We are deeply saddened by the violence that has occurred this morning within our store in Maryland at The Mall in Columbia," Zumiez CEO Rick Brooks said. "We're making arrangements for counseling to be made available to Zumiez employees in the area."
Columbia Mall has 200 retail stores and is one of the most popular in the suburban Maryland area. Its five anchor stores are Sears, J.C. Penney’s, Nordstrom’s, Macy’s and Lord and Taylor.
This incident continues the latest displays of gun violence that has occurred recently and will continue until something is done to mitigate gun violence. More on the tragic mall story can be read in the Baltimore Sun article at http://shar.es/U9QM2