A 19-year-old who fatally shot two employees at a Maryland mall before taking his own life mentioned killing people in his journal and wrote that he was prepared to die, Howard County police said Wednesday.
Darion Marcus Aguilar apologized to his family for what he was planning to do but offered no indication of what that was. In his journal entries, Aguilar expressed a “general hatred of others” but did not profess to target any specific individual or group for the shooting, police said.
“Aguilar mentions killing people, but in general terms. He does not mention the victims, or any other specific person,” police said, releasing a flurry of information on the department’s Twitter account Wednesday evening.
Police also said Aguilar’s writing indicated he felt he needed a mental health professional but never told his family.
The disclosures provide some insight into an investigation that has yielded few clues into Saturday’s violent attack that killed two employees of the Zumiez store at The Mall in Columbia.
Brianna Benlolo, 21, of College Park and Tyler Johnson, 25, of Mount Airy, were fatally shot when Aguilar opened fire at about 11:15 a.m. before putting a shotgun in his mouth and pulling the trigger. The store does not have a video camera, so no footage of the fatal shooting was available.
Police said Aguilar carried the shotgun disassembled into the mall in a backpack and put it together in a dressing room in the skate shop. They clarified that he fired shots inside the store and stepped just outside the store and fired a shot that hit the wall of a downstairs food court. A 49-year-old woman who was upstairs near the Zumiez was struck in the foot by that shot.
But while police continue to investigate Aguilar’s writings, his computer and his cellphone, the motive for the deadly attack remains unknown.
“Aguilar expresses thoughts of wanting to die and says he is ready to die,” police said.