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Monday, May 21, 2018
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AP US & World News

Victims remembered as Maryland mall reopens

COLUMBIA, Md. — The two victims of a shooting at a mall were being remembered as the mall reopened Monday afternoon.

Crowds of shoppers were sparse in the early minutes of business.

The Zumiez skateboard store inside The Mall in Columbia was boarded over as if the store were under construction. A message on the white boards said the store “is closed until further notice” and thanked first responders including police and firefighters.

Authorities identified the victims as 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo of College Park, Md., and 25-year-old Tyler Johnson of Ellicott City, Md. Both worked at Zumiez. According to her Facebook page, Benlolo attended Cocoa Beach High School in Florida.

“In loving memory of Brianna Benlolo and Tyler Johnson,” the message said, “please express your messages of hope and encouragement at the Mall’s Center Court.”

A bouquet of white flowers and memory books was set up there with baskets of white flowers for shoppers to throw into a fountain.

Outside, a second memorial was set up with a banner that read, “Forever in our hearts.”

Howard County Police Chief William McMahon said 19-year-old Darion Marcus Aguilar of College Park arrived at the mall shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday armed with a shotgun and used it to kill Benlolo and Johnson before killing himself.

No motive has been determined. Investigators are trying to determine whether Aguilar knew the victims.

Police said an officer found a journal at Aguilar’s home that “expressed general unhappiness.”

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