Maryland mall shooter assembled shotgun in skate shop: police

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 29, 2014 5:44 PM

(Reuters) - A 19-year-old Maryland mall gunman assembled a shotgun in a skateboard shop dressing room before killing two employees and then turning the weapon on himself, police said on Wednesday.

The shooter, Darion Marcus Aguilar, turned the bustling mall in Columbia, Maryland, into a scene of terror on Saturday.

Aguilar carried the disassembled 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun into the mall in a backpack, the Howard County Police Department said on its Twitter feed.

Aguilar, who lived in College Park, Maryland, put the shotgun together in a dressing room at the mall's Zumiez skateboard store.

Police "believe Aguilar exited the Zumiez dressing room, shot the two victims and then himself," police said. The victims have been identified as Brianna Benlolo, 21, of College Park, and Tyler Johnson, 25, of Mount Airy, Maryland.

The store had no video cameras so there is no footage of the shootings, it said. Police have said Aguilar fired six to eight shots.

At one point, he stepped out of the store and wounded a woman who was struck in the foot, police said.

Aguilar was dead when officers arrived less than two minutes after the first 911 call, police said.

Investigators have not given a motive for the shootings. Police have said they have not turned up any relationship between the shop employees and Aguilar.

Police have found a journal kept by Aguilar and said on Tuesday that it showed he "knew he was having mental health issues."

Police believe Aguilar legally bought the shotgun last month. The attack was the latest in a spate of U.S. shootings that has renewed questions about the vulnerability of public places in the United States.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Scott Malone and Andrew Hay)