Maryland Mall Shooting: Police Identify GunmanBy: Toni Matthews-El - January 26, 2014
Police have released the name of the gunman responsible for the fatal shootings at a Maryland Mall on Saturday morning. Howard County Police Chief William McMahon identified the shooter as Darion Marcus Aguilar, 19, of College Park, Md.
Aguilar entered the Mall of Columbia at about 10:00 AM armed with a Mossburg 12-gauge shotgun. He is alleged to have roamed the mall for approximately an hour without incident.
He later shot and killed two individuals, 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo of College Park, Md and 25-year-old Tyler Johnson of Ellicott City, Md as they were working in a skateboard shop called Zumiez. He then shot and killed himself.
It has not yet been determined if there was a motive for the killings or if the shooter knew the two victims. The police chief said that Aguilar purchased the shotgun used in the mall shooting last month in Montgomery County.
A 9-1-1 call was made shortly after gunfire was heard and police arrived on the scene within two minutes of the call.
The reason it took so long to identify Aguilar was because he was carrying ammunition and a backpack that law enforcement feared could contain explosives. The body was searched and homemade explosive devices were recovered.
Only scant details were released about the shooter aside from his name, age, and where he was from. It is not known at present whether he had a prior criminal record. What is known is that Aguilar lived with his mother in the suburb of College Park, not too far away from the University of Maryland. There is no information available as to whether or not he was a student at the university.
The incident has rocked the community. The violence seen this weekend is practically alien to the area
Said one local, “I truly never thought something like this would ever happen here. It’s really, really shocking.”
Image via Associated Press