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.
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.
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.
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.
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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