The home of Darion Marcus Aguilar of College Park, Md., is seen Sunday. Police say Aguilar carried out Saturday's attack with a shotgun at a skateboard shop at the Mall of Columbia before killing himself. (Ben Nuckols / AP)
Columbia, Md. — The gunman who killed two people at a Maryland mall was a teenage skateboarding enthusiast who had no criminal record before he showed up at the shopping center armed with a shotgun, plenty of ammunition and a backpack filled with crude homemade explosives, authorities said Sunday.
Darion Marcus Aguilar, 19, took a taxi to the Mall in Columbia in suburban Baltimore on Saturday morning and entered the building near Zumiez, a shop that sells skateboarding gear. He went downstairs to a food court directly below the store, then returned less than an hour later, dumped the backpack in a dressing room and started shooting, police said.
Shoppers fled in a panic or barricaded themselves behind closed doors. When police arrived, they found three people dead — two store employees and Aguilar, who had killed himself, authorities said.
The shooting baffled investigators and acquaintances of Aguilar, a quiet, skinny teenager who graduated from high school less than a year ago and had no previous run-ins with law enforcement. Police spent Sunday trying to piece together his motive, but it remained elusive.
Aguilar, who had concealed the shotgun in a bag, fired six to nine times.
One victim, Brianna Benlolo, a 21-year-old single mother, lived half a mile from Aguilar in the same College Park neighborhood, but police said they were still trying to determine what, if any, relationship they had.
The other employee, Tyler Johnson, did not know Aguilar and did not socialize with Benlolo outside of work, a relative said.
Aguilar graduated in 2013, school officials confirmed.
Howard County Police Chief William McMahon said Aguilar’s journal expressed general unhappiness, but he did not give any specifics about the writings.
“There are a lot of unanswered questions,” McMahon said.
Aguilar purchased the 12-gauge shotgun legally last month at a store in neighboring Montgomery County. At his home, officers also recovered more ammunition, computers and documents, police said.