Police: Mall shooter was ‘ready to die’

WASHINGTON – Darion Aguilar, who killed two people and himself Saturday at the Mall in Columbia, wrote in his personal journal that he was ready to die and expressed a general hatred of other people, police say.

In a series of tweets from the Howard County Police Department, officials released information from the 19-year-old shooter’s journal.

In sporadic writings from the past year, Aguilar reportedly indicated that he thought he needed help from a mental health professional but never told his family that. He also references smoking marijuana in his journal entries, Howard County Police Department officials say.

Howard County Police also tweeted: “Aguilar mentions killing people, but in general terms. Aguilar does not mention targeting specific people, locations, ethnicities or groups. He does not mention the victims, or any other specific person. Aguilar expresses that his plan is set, but does not indicate what he’s referring to.”

Prince George’s County Police released the missing persons report filed when Aguilar did not show up for work at a College Park, Md., Dunkin’ Donuts Saturday morning.

Earlier Wednesday afternoon, Howard County Police Department officials tweeted that they believe Aguilar brought a 12-gauge shotgun into the mall in pieces concealed in a backpack.

Aguilar assembled that shotgun in a dressing room of the skateboard shop, Zumiez, where the shootings took place, tweets from the Howard County Police Department reveal.

Zumiez does not have security cameras inside, so there is no video footage of the actual shooting, police tweeted.

Police are still looking for a motive and do not know if Aguilar knew either of his two victims, Brianna Benlolo and Tyler Johnson, who were both employees of the skateboard gear store. An employee of the store has told the Washington Post that Aguilar had visited the store in the past.

Howard County Police say Aguilar, 19, was an avid skateboarder. He graduated from high school last spring and was working at the Dunkin’ Donuts.

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.

Bruce Goldfarb, a spokesman for the Maryland medical examiner’s office, said Tuesday that the gunman stuck the weapon in his mouth and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Benlolo, 21, died from gunshot wounds to the neck and chest. Johnson, 25, also suffered multiple gunshot wounds, Goldfarb said.

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