Mall Victims Were Workers in Their 20s: Police

5 injured in Maryland attack

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 25, 2014 5:20 PM CST

(Newser) – The two people killed in today's Maryland mall shooting—in addition to the suspected shooter—were workers at a store for skaters, police say. Brianna Benlolo, 21, and Tyler Johnson, 25, worked at a store called Zumiez, the Washington Post reports. Five others were injured in the attack, which a police spokesman says "seems to have been very contained to that store and the area just outside." The body of the suspect was found in the store near a shotgun and a large quantity of ammunition, CNN reports. That prompted concerns he might have had explosives.

The gunman at the Mall in Columbia shot Benlolo after coming from a back changing room, WJLA reports. After shooting both workers, he reportedly killed himself. The motive is still uncertain, though a federal official suggested a possible link to a domestic dispute, CNN notes. Police tweeted that "NO motive, domestic or otherwise, has been confirmed." Those injured have been treated and released, according to a hospital tweet. "I think this country is in a lot if trouble," says a witness. "I mean, what possesses someone to, on a Saturday afternoon, in this cold, to come to a mall and shoot people?"

Shoppers are evacuated by police and rescue personnel after a shooting at the Mall in Columbia on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, in Columbia, Md.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
A Montgomery County, Md., police officer walks in a parking lot at the Mall in Columbia.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Two people embrace in the parking lot at the scene of the shooting.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
Restaurant general manager Heather Saffield watches though the glass door of her restaurant at the Mall in Columbia as police continue an evacuation.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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