By Justin George and Carrie Wells
The Baltimore Sun
COLUMBIA, Md — Howard County police said Wednesday that the suspect in January's fatal shooting at the Mall in Columbia had no connection to his victims, and that he may have had a fixation with the Columbine High School shooting in 1999.
Suspect Darion Marcus Aguilar, 19, brought a Mossberg 500 series pump-action shotgun to the mall, police have said, hanging around the food court for about an hour before going into skateboard shop Zumiez on the second floor. After assembling the shotgun in a dressing room, he fatally shot Zumiez employees Brianna Benlolo, 21, and Tyler Johnson, 25, fired at a woman in the food court downstairs but missed, then turned the gun on himself.
In a statement announcing the conference, taking place at the department's public safety training center at 11 a.m., officials said the case is "not officially closed" but that police want to share some details with the public. While police have previously shared some information, including details gathered from the suspected shooter's journal, they have not revealed any motive in the case.
Police have said Aguilar frequented the mall, a popular gathering place in the planned suburban community, hanging around outside and smoking in small groups. A Zumiez employee told the Baltimore Sun that he had seen Aguilar at the skate shop before. The 19-year-old lived with his mother in College Park.
In his journal, Aguilar wrote about killing people, indicated he was ready to die and alluded to an unspecified plan that was "set," police have said, though more details from the journal have been withheld during the investigation.
Benlolo, of College Park, left behind a two-year-old son. She was an assistant manager at the store and lived in Florida and Colorado before coming to Maryland in 2010. Tyler Johnson, who was from Ellicott City but had recently moved to Mount Airy, had been clean for two years and was active in local 12-step programs, helping struggling addicts in recovery. He had only worked at Zumiez for a few months before the shooting.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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