On January 25th, a teen entered a store in the Columbia Mall, in Maryland. He shot and killed two employees and then shot and killed himself. Investigators now say the shooter’s motivation could be tied to another mass murder.
In their first detailed account of the shooting, Howard County Police say Darion Marcus Aguilar, 19, was obsessed with carrying out a massacre similar to the 1999 Columbine High School shooting. Reports show he had no criminal record before the shooting. Howard County Police say Aguilar walked into the Zumiez skateboarding store on the upper level of the mall and randomly killed Brianna Benlolo, 21, and Tyler Johnson, 25. There is no connection between them. Police say Aguilar may have waited at the mall to start shooting at 11:14 a.m. That’s the same time as the Columbine shooting. Police say he fired nine times and was carrying 54 rounds. They say he missed a number of people in the Food Court. According to officials, he had two bombs that did not go off in his backpack at the time of the shooting. Police say investigators found thousands of searches on Aguilar’s computer related to mass murder. The chief admits some of the earlier reports of the relationships between the shooter and the victims were wrong.
Chief William McMahon says, “There is no connection between the shooter and the two young people’s lives he cut short. And the inaccurate reporting of a domestic relationship between them was a distraction for us. But more importantly, it was very very painful to their families.”
Police say Aguilar was referred to a psychiatrist in April 2013 after telling a doctor he was hearing voices. He never actually visited a psychiatrist.
The case is not officially closed and the investigation will continue to an unknown time. But police say they hope the details will help bring closure of the tragic event.