WASHINGTON – As police continue to try to piece together the motive behind the deadly shootings at the Mall in Columbia, the community continues to rally behind the memory of its two young victims.
According to Howard County police, a memorial fund has been set up to raise money for the health, education and support of Brianna Benlolo’s 2-year-old son. Benlolo, who lived in College Park, Md., with several housemates, was a single mother and had been working as an assistant manager at the skate and snowboarding shop Zumiez when she was shot in the neck and the chest by Darion Aguilar,19, also of College Park.
Howard County police have also announced that a memorial fund has been established in the name of Tyler Johnson, 25, with funds going to the Community Foundation of Howard County. According to the foundation’s website, donations to its fund will go to various county community non-profits, foundations, grants and scholarships.
The Washington Post reported Monday that Tyler had actively mentored other young people at the Serenity House, a 12-step program based in Columbia, Md. He had overcome his own struggle with substance abuse and spent a lot of his time there helping others.
Howard County police say donations can be made to the Brianna Benlolo Memorial Fund at any Wells Fargo branch or by mail: P.O. Box 1353, Lynnwood, WA, 98046.
Donations to the Tyler Johnson Memorial Fund can be made via the foundation website or send a check to 10630 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 315, Columbia, MD, 21044.
Police are still looking for a motive, and have not determined if Aguilar knew either of his two victims. An employee of the store told the Washington Post that Aguilar had visited the store in the past.
A flyer with Aguilar’s photo is posted at the mall and investigators are interviewing people, analyzing computer and cellphone records, and looking at other evidence. Police say Aguilar hung out at the mall frequently and smoked with acquaintances outside the mall.
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