COLUMBIA, MD (RNN) - Police have confirmed the identity of the shooter who killed two people at a Columbia, MD, mall before taking his own life.
Police said Darion Marcus Aguilar, 19, of College Park, MD, opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun about an hour after arriving at the mall.
Police Chief Bill McMahon said Aguilar fired six to eight shots and his body was found with several additional unused shells. He said identifying the shooter was difficult due to the potential threat of explosives.
"We were concerned about whether he had booby-trapped himself," McMahon said. "But his body was not booby-trapped."
McMahon said the gun was purchased by Aguilar in December.
After determining his identity, McMahon said police searched the home Aguilar shared with his mother and found several other suspicious devices. They are still working to determine if he had a prior relationship with either of the victims.
"We have not been able to verify any relationship between him and the victims," McMahon said. "That is an important piece of information, but we just don't know. Once we can establish a relationship or not, that will help us answer the next question, which is why this happened."
Investigators say the suspect has no criminal history. Aguilar was a skating enthusiast who graduated from high school in 2013.
Police confiscated computers from Aguilar's home where he lived with his mother, as well as his journal.
McMahon said Aguilar arrived at the mall with a backpack about an hour before the shooting started. Aguilar was dropped off at the mall by a taxi on the upper level and walked to the lower level of the mall and back up before opening fire.
McMahon said they are still working to determine how the shooting played out and how a victim who was wounded received wounds to his or her foot while on the level below where the shooter was.
Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said the response by officials was encouraging but policies are being reviewed in response to the shooting.
"We need a take moment and rededicate ourselves to doing what we can to make this world a better place," Ulman said. "We're better than this."
McMahon said the mall is scheduled to reopen Tuesday, but it could reopen sooner.
"We will have a strong police presence so people are comfortable and safe shopping here," McMahon said.
The Mall in Columbia, a sprawling shopping center with more than 200 stores, is located in a commuter town with a population of about 100,000 between Washington, DC, and Baltimore on Interstate 95.
Five other people, including one victim who took a gunshot to the foot, were treated at Howard County General Hospital. The other four either had medical conditions or sustained injuries while trying to flee the scene.
Police were on the scene within two minutes, according to Ulman. He attributed the quick response time to previous training law enforcement had with mall staff.
The mall was on lockdown while SWAT teams cleared people out, and officials closed it for the rest of the day.
This is the first shooting at a mall since a gunman opened fired in a New Jersey mall in early November 2013. He was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Previously, on Dec. 11, 2012, two people were killed and one was injured when Jacob Roberts, 22, opened fire at the Clackamas Tower Center near Portland, OR. Roberts also killed himself in that incident.
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