The mother of Darion Aguilar said that her son had never even owned a weapon prior to the gun he bought a month ago. It was a Mossburg 12-gauge shotgun. It would be the first and last gun he ever used.
"If you were to go into his room you would see what a gentle, sweet kid he was."
Aguilar was identified as the gunman responsible for Mall of Columbia shooting that took place on Saturday morning.
Aguilar entered the mall without incident, but opened fire on 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo and Tyler Johnson, 25, an hour later. In addition to killing the two Zumiez employees, Aguilar took his own life.
A community was left reeling in the aftermath.
As for the 19-year-old shooter's mother, she says she cannot understand what occurred. She also shared that she doesn't feel that her son knew the two victims at all. A lack of previous connection makes the killings all the more bizarre and tragic.
The 19yr-old mall shooter in Maryland was not legally allowed to buy an alcoholic drink until 21. But was able to legally buy a shotgun.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 27, 2014
Maryland mall shooter Darion Aguilar a ‘good kid" with no criminal record or known mental issues: http://t.co/xwmltr2wKR
— Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) January 27, 2014
Maryland mystery: Why did mall shooter do it?:
— Titus Magee (@magee_titus) January 28, 2014
Aguilar's mother, who had no idea that her son was the shooter, had filed a missing person's report when her son was absent from work, despite saying he planned to go. Aguilar lived with her in the suburb of College Park, near the University of Maryland.
Having recovered the shooter's journal from his mother, police investigators are hoping what's in the pages will offer up some kind of explanation. At present, there is no known motive. Evidence shows that the shooting was limited to the vicinity of the two victims. This meant there was no attempt at a wider, indiscriminate shooting spree.
In addition to the fatalities, one individual was hospitalized for a gunshot wound to the foot, while four others were injured in the resulting chaos.
The disbelief expressed by Darion Aguilar's mother may be dismissed by some as the blind love of a maternal figure who should have read the signs. However, it could very well be that her "gentle, sweet kid" was dealing with demons that no one saw, not even his loving mother.
They managed to stay hidden from view until it was far too late. Now, multiple families are left with pain and unanswered questions.
Image via Associated Press