On January 25.2014 a gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire in a Columbia, Maryland Zumiez Skateshop. He killed the manager 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo of College Park, Maryland and 25-year-old Tyler Johnson of Ellicott City, Maryland who was also employed at the Zumiez in the Columbia Mall. After fatally shooting Benlolo and Johnson and wounding at least 5 others the gunman then turned his gun on himself and committed suicide.
Howard County Police Chief William J. McMahon stated in a news conference "We do not know yet what caused the shooting incident, we do not have a motive."
Howard County Hospital treated 5 patients. One of whom was treated for a wound as a result from a gunshot. All have been released from the hospital.
Brianna Benlolo was survived by her 2-year old son. She was reportedly on good terms with her son's father. They had shared custody of the child.
It has been suggested on the official Zumiez facebook page post about the shooting, that Zumiez should help pay for the funerals and provide the families some money in their time of anguish and need. - Jason Chapman The Skateboarding Examiner
Zumiez Official Release by CEO Rick Brooks:
"We are deeply saddened by the violence that has occurred this morning within our store in Maryland at The Mall in Columbia. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.
As you have heard from the Howard County Police the two victims are Zumiez employees. They have been identified as Brianna Benlolo and Tyler Johnson.
We’re making arrangements for counselling to be made available to Zumiez employees in the area.
As you can imagine, we are receiving numerous calls and are unable to respond to the flood of questions at this time. We’re working with the Howard County police department and all information will come through them. We won’t be giving interviews or comments. Thank you for understanding.
The Zumiez team is a tight knit community and all of our hearts go out to Brianna and Tyler’s families. ” Rick Brooks, Zumiez CEO
"Our deepest sympathies for Brianna Benlolo and her young son. Tyler Johnson has visited the Charmcity Skatepark before and was a brother in the Skateboard Community. This shooting is tragic and we mourn the loss of another fellow skater lost.....Rest in Peace." - Jason Chapman owner The Charmcity Skatepark Baltimore, Maryland