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January 27, 2014

Gunman in mall shooting had no criminal record

COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) — The gunman who shot two people to death at a Maryland shopping mall had no criminal record, police said Sunday, but little else was known about the 19-year-old and whether he knew his victims.

Darion Marcus Aguilar of College Park, Md., carried out Saturday's attack with a 12-gauge shotgun at a skateboard shop at the Mall in Columbia in suburban Baltimore before killing himself, police said.

Howard County Police Chief William McMahon said investigators are trying to determine whether Aguilar knew either of the victims, who were both employees of a shop called Zumiez, which sells skateboards, clothing and accessories.

Police identified the victims as 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo of College Park, Md., and 25-year-old Tyler Johnson of Mount Airy, Md. McMahon offered no motive for the shooting.

"There are a lot of unanswered questions," McMahon said at a news conference. Aguilar purchased the shotgun legally last month at a store in neighboring Montgomery County.

It took hours to identify the gunman since he was carrying ammunition and a backpack containing homemade explosives, McMahon said. Officers searched Aguilar's home Saturday night, recovering more ammunition, computers and documents, police said.

The home is a two-story wood-frame house in a middle-income neighborhood called Hollywood, just off U.S. Route 1 and near the Capital Beltway. No one answered the door Sunday morning at the house, which had a Christmas wreath on the front door, signs that read "Beware of Dog" and warnings about an alarm system.

Aguilar and his mother were renters at the home. Sirkka Singleton, who owns the property with her husband and lives a block away, said they use a property manager to find tenants and they have never met the Aguilars. She declined to say who the property manager was.

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