WASHINGTON — A teenager has been arrested and charged as an adult in connection with a fatal double stabbing that was committed in broad daylight Tuesday at a busy Wheaton, Maryland, shopping center.
Angelo Jackson, 17, was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon as he was leaving his home in Montgomery Village.
Montgomery County police say Jackson stabbed two men at the Westfield Wheaton mall, which was packed with shoppers at the time. Both of the victims died from their injuries.
Jackson has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and is being held without bond.
Following the crime, detectives spoke with witnesses and reviewed mall surveillance footage and said in a statement that “the video shows the suspect, armed with a knife, stabbing one victim and then while still armed, pursuing the second victim.”
Police obtained a still photograph of Jackson from the video and released it within the department. They say multiple officers were able to identify the suspect as Jackson from having prior contact with him.
The victims have been identified as 24-year-old Angel Pineda-Gomez of Silver Spring, Maryland, and 22-year-old Kevin Siloe Moya Cruz, of Wheaton.
Police say the stabbing began with a “physical altercation” between the suspect and the victims near the Hollister clothing store on the mall’s lower level. It is not clear what prompted the altercation, and detectives are still investigating a possible motive.
Police who responded to the mall blocked off entrances but the mall itself was never closed or locked down. Capt. Paul Starks said a portion of the mall was closed to protect the scene.
Starks wouldn’t make a judgment on whether the decision to keep the mall open was appropriate, but said, “The information that we had — we provided that to mall management. The decision was made to keep the mall open. But, again, I don’t speak for mall management.”
Westfield Corporate Communications referred WTOP to police for official information.
“The center continues to cooperate fully with the ongoing law enforcement investigation,” said spokeswoman Catharine Dickey.
This report was updated to more accurately characterize Capt. Paul Starks’ comments.