Authorities investigating the motives for Darion Marcus Aguilar's shooting spree at a Maryland Mall on Saturday, January 25 still remains a mystery, with no immediate evidence signaling the cause for the rampage.
Aguilar, a 19-year-old skateboard enthusiast, had no criminal past or known relationship with any of the victims of the shooting. It is reported that Aguilar arrived at the mall in a cab at 10:15 a.m. before pulling out a 12-gauge gun and shooting near the food court almost an hour later.
According to reports, Aguilar shot around ten shots and killed two employees and injured five other people. The victims were identified as 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo, and 25-year-old Tyler Johnson, both who were employed at the mall. Aguilar committed suicide with a self-inflicted gun shot and was found dead by authorities with the gun by his side. Two disabled homemade explosives and ammunition were found in Aguilar's backpack and police are reporting that Aguilar legally purchased the 12-gauge gun in December.
Authorities are still looking into reasons why Aguilar began shooting at the mall. "I know there's a lot of interest in the motive for this, and I have as much interest in that as anybody," said Howard County Police Chief Bill McMahon. Following the shooting, police obtained a search warrant to search Aguilar's home and obtain clues for potential evidence.
Though there is no immediate reason, a journal found in the home written by Aguilar expresses some displeasure. "[Aguilar] does express some general unhappiness with his life, but I really don't have any other information about that now," the chief said.
Former classmate Tydryn Scott described Aguilar as a "quiet" and "chill" guy. "I've seen this guy in action before. Never upset, never sad...." he told in an interview with The Associated Press. "If any other emotion, he was happy, laughing."
The shooting took place on a Saturday, a relatively busy day for the mall. Mall shoppers hid in stores during the shooting until evacuated by authorities. The mall is set to resume business starting this week with heavy police enforcement. The tragedy continues to spark debates on gun control and question the safety of public places.
A mall employee who simply went by the name "K.T." expressed shock that the community and shoppers felt during Saturday's shooting. "It was just crazy," said K.T. "It's one of those things you see on TV but never expect you'll go through."