Police: Columbia Mall shooter 'fixated' on Columbine

COLUMBIA, Md. (WUSA9) -- Howard County police say the man who shot and killed two people at Columbia Mall in January was fixated on the 1999 Columbine High School shooting and that the victims were random.

On Jan. 25, Darion Marcus Aguilar, 19, entered the Zumiez store in the mall and killed two employees before turning the gun on himself. Police say Aguilar may have waited at the mall in an attempt to start at 11:14 a.m., the same time as Columbine. Aguilar's weapon, clothing, backpack with explosives and method of suicide were all similar to Columbine, according to police.

Police say there is no connection between Aguilar and the two victims, Tyler Johnson and Brianna Benlolo. "Extensive searches of computers, cell phones and other records showed no indication that the shooter knew the victims or targeted them in any way," police said in a news release. Johnson and Benlolo were both Zumiez employees.

At a press conference on Wednesday, police said Aguilar fired nine times and was carrying 54 rounds. He assembled the gun in the Zumiez dressing room before opening fire. Police say he "very narrowly missed" a number of people in the food court.

Aguilar had two bombs in his backpack at the time of the shooting that did not go off, according to officials. Inside the backpack was also a video camera containing short videos showing the gun and ammunition which appear to have been recorded in Aguilar's bedroom.

Investigators found a journal at Aguilar's home in College Park that included references to death, suicide and killing people, according to officials. Police say they also found thousands of searched on Aguilar's computer for mass murder, homicidal thoughts, school shootings, buying and shooting a shotgun, gun shops, mental illness, suicide, homemade explosives, and bombs, among other things.

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 remains open as police continue to investigate and analyze evidence.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment