Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesday Update on Columbia Mall Shooting

The investigation so far has not yielded any details which add up to any sort of narrative.

  • The investigation has not established any relationship between the shooter and the victims.   The most that can be established is that the shooter may have visited the store previously.  The shooter and Brianna Benlolo live near each other, but not close enough to be meaningful. 
  • The shooter had a history of hanging out at the Columbia Mall. 
  • The shooter kept a journal which chronicled his concerns that he was having mental health issues. 
  • The gun store owner who sold the shooter his shotgun offers no evidence as to Aguilar's motivation. 

The shooting does not really seem to be a "mass shooting" but why did Aguilar end up at Zumiez with a shotgun?

#ColumbiaMall #HoCoPolice


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Roundup of information re: Columbia Mall shooting

Press Conference at 9:40 a.m.

Shooter identified as Darion Marcus Aguilar, age 19, of College Park, Maryland.  Relationship between shooter and victims still unknown.  Weapon confirmed as Mossberg shotgun purchased in December in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Entire mall was swept for explosive devices by exposives sniffing K9 units.

Shooter located on security video.  Traveled to mall via cab and was dropped off at carousel around 10:15 a.m.

Six to eight shots fired.  Typical magazine capacity for pump shotgun without reloading.

Crime scene investigation concluded at 2 a.m.  Mall property returned to mall operators.  Mall will reopen no later than Tuesday.

Personal items left in common areas of mall  can be retrieved from PNC building between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. today.  Call 410 730 3302 for more information.  Items left in stores will have to wait until store operators can return to their stores.

Strong police presence will be at mall at time of reopening.

News Channel 8 at 9:30 a.m.

Shooter entered back door of Zumiez store (how gained entry?) and shot Tyler Johnson first.  Shooter proceeded through store and shot Brianna Benlolo.  Contrary to initial reports.

HCPD did not offer any sequence of events at their 9:30 press conference.

Overnight Update: New information as of 8 a.m. Sunday

Shooter attempted to make crude explosive devices from fireworks.  Bomb squad responded and disabled the devices.  This no doubt delayed investigation of the scene.

The shooter has been identified but the HCPD is not releasing his name at this time.  The shooter's residence will being searched, or probably has been searched at this point.  A press conference is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

The weapon was more precisely identified as a Mossberg pump-action shotgun.  The weapon was bought within the last several months.

See: Washington Post

Howard County Police and Fire audio:

Update: Columbia Mall to remain closed for rest of the weekend.

Traffic Update

Ring Road remains closed.  Little Patuxent Parkway and Governor Warfield Parkway are both open.

HCPD Chief reports shooter died of self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Shooter was deceased when HCPD entered the mall.  By all accounts so far the HCPD response was very swift.

All five people treated at Howard County General Hospital have been released.

Reported via twitter.

NBC4 reporting ALL deceased, including shooter, were employees of Zumiez at Columbia Mall. 


Victims indentified

Brianna Benlolo, age 21, College Park
Tyler Johnson, age 25, Ellicott City

Both confirmed as employees of Zumiez.  Families have been notified.

Reported via WBAL-11 at 5:00 p.m.

Intact crime scene at this time.  All bodies remain in place as the HCPD begins the investigation.

No more live press conferences expected today.   Further updates to come via:


Reported via WJZ-13 at 4:40 p.m.

Shooter was in dressing room at Zumiez.  Shooter emerged from dressing room and immediately shot female employee behind counter.  Shooter attempted to feel store.  Male employee attempted to stop shooter and was shot near entrance of store. (Unconfirmed at this point.)

New information from 4 p.m. press conference:

  • Columbia Mall has been cleared at this time by HCPD and cooperating agencies.
  • Columbia Mall will be CLOSED the rest of today.
  • No information about motive at this time.
  • Two deceased, adult male and female, both employees of Zumiez.  No identities released until families notified.
  • Shooter still unidentified, but is male.
  • Shooter still carrying large amount of ammunition.
  • Confirmed that weapon was shotgun.
  • Five other injured treated at Howard County Hospital.  One injured by gunshot, others injured attempting to flee.
  • Investigators just now entering mall to begin investigation.
Further updates to come via:

Facts so far related to shooting at Columbia Mall:

  • A call to 911 went out to the Howard County Police Department around 11:15 a.m.  Reported via HCPD twitter feed.
  • Shooting took place at Zumiez store on upper level of Columbia Mall near Sears store.
  • Three deceased reported including the shooter.