COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) — The 19-year-old Maryland mall gunman was a skateboarding enthusiast who took a taxi to the mall, carrying a 12-gauge shotgun he'd purchased legally a month earlier, plenty of ammunition and some crude homemade explosives inside a backpack, authorities said.
Darion Marcus Aguliar entered the Mall in Columbia around 10:15 a.m. Saturday near Zumiez, a shop that sells skateboarding gear, and went downstairs to a food court directly below. Less than an hour later, he returned to the store, dumped the backpack in a dressing room and then started shooting, police said.
Shoppers fled in a panic or barricaded themselves behind closed doors and police arrived within 2 minutes of the first 911 call. They found three people dead, including Aguilar, who killed himself, police said.
The shooting has baffled law enforcement and acquaintances of Aguilar, a quiet, skinny teenager who graduated from high school less than a year ago and had no criminal record. Police spent Sunday trying to piece together his motive, but by late afternoon, it remained elusive.
After Aguilar had fired between six and nine shots, two Zumiez employees were dead, police said. One victim, Brianna Benlolo, a 21-year-old single mother, lived half a mile away from Aguilar in the same College Park neighborhood, but police said they were still trying to determine what, if any, relationship they had. Although they lived close to Maryland’s largest university, neither was a student there.
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