Maryland Mall Shooter is 19-Year-Old From College Park

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 26 2014 11:20 AM

Maryland Mall Shooter is 19-Year-Old From College Park

465013999-people-walk-outside-of-columbia-town-center-mall-after
People walk outside of Columbia Town Center Mall after three people were killed in a shooting there on January 25

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Police authorities on Sunday identified the shooter who killed two people with a 12-gauge shotgun before killing himself as 19-year-old Darion Marcus Aguilar of College Park, where University of Maryland is located. There wasn’t much information immediately available about Aguilar but initial reports indicate he lived with his mother in College Park, although it is unclear if he was a student in the local university. It’s also unclear whether Aguilar knew any of the two people he apparently killed, notes the Associated Press.

From witness reports of the shooting though, it doesn’t immediately seem as though the gunman knew everyone whom he shot at. One witness told the Baltimore Sun that the gunman “pointed the gun at me and looked at my eyes” before firing a shot. If she hadn’t gotten down at just the right time, she says, she would have likely been hit.*

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Aguilar arrived at the Columbia, Md. mall, located some 25 miles northeast of Washington, D.C., shortly after 10 a.m. on Saturday with a shotgun that he used to kill the two people, a 21-year-old and a 25-year-old who worked at a clothing store for skateboarders and snowboarders, notes the Washington Post. Just after 11 a.m., he began opening fire at the second level of the mall. When officers arrived minutes later, the gunman was already dead. Police say it took a while to identify the shooter because he was carrying lots of ammunition and a backpack that police feared may have contained explosives. Police had said they found two crude devices that “appeared to be an attempt at making explosives using fireworks.”

*Correction Mon., Jan. 27: An earlier version of this post mistakenly described a shotgun round as a bullet. Shotguns typically fire shells that contain either shot or a slug.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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