19-Year-Old College Park Man Identified as Columbia Mall Shooter

Police said the gunman also had improvised explosives with him at the mall.

A Google street view photo of Darion Aguilar's College Park home.
A Google street view photo of Darion Aguilar's College Park home.

Police identified Darion Marcus Aguilar, 19, of College Park, as the gunman who killed two people, then himself, in a shooting at the Mall in Columbia on Saturday morning.

Police have not linked him to the two victims, who were both employees of the Zumiez skate shop on the second floor of the mall. 

"We have not been able to verify any type of relationship at this point between him and our victims," said Howard County Police Chief Bill McMahon. "That is an open question. We just don't know that. We're working to find that out now. We do know that one of our victims also lived in College Park."

Aguilar used a Mossberg .12-gauge shotgun in the attack and fired between six and nine shots, said police. Inside Zumiez, police found a backpack containing improvised explosives made out of fireworks, which they believe is Aguilar's. The "crude" devices were disarmed, police said. Police reported Aguilar legally purchased the shotgun in Montgomery County in December.

Brianna Benlolo, 21, of College Park, and Tyler Johnson, 25, of Mount Airy, were killed inside the Zumiez store in the shooting.

Police said they have searched Aguilar's home in the 4700 block of Hollywood Road in College Park and seized ammunition, documents and computers.

Aguilar first arrived at the mall around 10:15 a.m. Saturday when he was dropped off by a taxi cab, according to police. At first he was downstairs, then he went to the second floor and that's when the shooting began, police said.

The shooting was first reported around 11:15 a.m. Witnesses described a chaotic scene at the busy mall when the first shots were heard. People sheltered in place inside the mall, while others ran for the exits.

Five others were injured in the attack, including a woman who was shot in the foot and four who were treated for medical conditions or injuries caused by falls. All five were later released from the hospital Saturday, according to Howard County General Hospital.

Police said the woman who was struck in the foot was on the first floor and was hit by a shot fired downward from the second level.

In Saturday's chaos, many people left behind personal items. Anyone who left personal property in the mall's common areas can pick the items up at 30 Corporate Center, also known as the PNC Building at 10440 Little Patuxent Parkway, near the mall between noon and 5 p.m. Sunday, police said.

Grief counselors will be available for those picking up property over the next few days.

Mall management will contact retailers on Sunday to schedule appointments for them to access their businesses. Anyone with an emergency situation related to property left inside the mall should call the mall's Public Safety Office at (410) 730-3302.


3 Dead in Shooting at Columbia Mall, Including Gunman


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