UPDATE: 3 dead in mall shooting; Devices disabled - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

UPDATE: 3 dead in mall shooting; Devices disabled

Posted:
© ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana). Police move in from a parking lot to the Mall in Columbia after reports of a multiple shooting, Saturday Jan. 25, 2014 Howard County, Md. © ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana). Police move in from a parking lot to the Mall in Columbia after reports of a multiple shooting, Saturday Jan. 25, 2014 Howard County, Md.
AP Photo/ Evan Vucci). Shoppers are evacuated by police after a shooting at The Mall in Columbia on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, in Columbia, Md. AP Photo/ Evan Vucci). Shoppers are evacuated by police after a shooting at The Mall in Columbia on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, in Columbia, Md.
Map shows the details of the Columbia Mall Map shows the details of the Columbia Mall
( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana). Police move in from a parking lot to the Mall in Columbia after reports of a multiple shooting, Saturday Jan. 25, 2014 Howard County, Md. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana). Police move in from a parking lot to the Mall in Columbia after reports of a multiple shooting, Saturday Jan. 25, 2014 Howard County, Md.
COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) - The mall in suburban Baltimore was humming with weekend shoppers when, suddenly, shotgun blasts rang out on the upper level.

Panicked patrons in the food court below, others browsing in jewelry stores or undergoing facials scrambled for cover. Some ducked into nearby stores. Others hid in inventory rooms or barricaded themselves behind locked doors until police arrived.

Within 2 minutes of the first 911 call Saturday morning, police say officers arriving at the Mall in Columbia found three people dead, including the gunman. Police say a man with a shotgun had shot a man and a woman, both in their 20s, who worked at a skateboard shop. He then killed himself.

Five others were injured in the mid-morning shooting and its aftermath. All had been released from hospitals by Saturday evening.

"This was a very scary incident," Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said. "There were a lot of people very close to where this happened."

Police Chief Edward J. McMahon said police were still seeking a motive even as he praised mall patrons for doing the right thing by sheltering in place and not stampeding toward the exits.

A news release Saturday night said police found and disabled "two crude devices that appeared to be an attempt at making explosives using fireworks." Police were searching the mall with dogs overnight, which is standard procedure, and the mall was to remain closed Sunday.

Joan Harding of Elkridge, Md., was shopping with her husband, David, for a tiara for their granddaughter's 18th birthday. She said she heard something heavy falling, followed by gunshots and people running.

"My husband said, 'Get down!' and the girl that worked in the store said, 'Get in the back,'" Harding said. That is where they hid until police searched the mall and signaled it was safe to leave.

The shooting took place around 11:15 a.m. Saturday at a shop called Zumiez, which sells skateboards, clothing and accessories. The company's chief executive, Rick Brooks, said it was making counseling available for employees in the area.

McMahon said at a news conference that authorities had difficulty identifying the gunman because of concerns he was carrying explosives and were proceeding with an "abundance of caution." By late Saturday, police said they had tentatively identified the gunman but declined to release his name while they followed up on leads.

Police identified the victims as 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo of College Park, Md., and 25-year-old Tyler Johnson of Ellicott City, Md. Both worked at Zumiez.

Benlolo's grandfather, John Feins, said in a telephone interview from Florida that his granddaughter had a 2-year-old son and that the job at Zumiez was her first since she went back to work after her son's birth.

"She was all excited because she was the manager there," he said.

He said he had spoken with his daughter, Brianna's mother, earlier in the day, but didn't know who the gunman was or whether the person knew his granddaughter.

"It's senseless. It's totally, totally senseless," he said.

He described his daughter's family as a military family that had moved frequently and had been in Colorado before moving to Maryland about two years ago. He said his granddaughter was on good terms with her son's father, and they shared custody.

"I mean what can you say? You go to work and make a dollar and you got some idiot coming in and blowing people away," he said.

The mall is at the center of the town that's a suburb of both Baltimore and Washington, and it typically opens at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. It was busy with shoppers and employees when the shots rang out before noon.

McMahon said it wasn't clear whether the gunman and victims knew each other. He said officers did not fire any shots when they arrived at the scene. A police news release said it appears the gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Tonya Broughton of Silver Spring, Md., was with a friend getting facials for a "girls' morning out," she said. "The only thing I heard was all the people running and screaming and saying 'There's a shooter! There's a shooter!'" she said.

Wearing a gel face mask, she and her friend hid in a Victoria's Secret store, as her anxious thoughts turned to her family.

People were directed out of the mall and into a parking lot, where some boarded a bus and others walked toward their cars. Police cars blocked off various entrances to the mall as SWAT officers and law enforcement vehicles gathered in the expansive parking lot. Some people were seen crying and hugging and at least one woman was carrying a baby. McMahon said detectives were interviewing witnesses as they emerged from the mall.

Laura McKindles of Columbia works at a kiosk in the mall. She said she heard between eight and 10 gunshots, followed by people running and screaming. She ran into the backroom of a perfume store and locked the door.

Allison Cohen, who works at the apparel store Lucky Brand Jeans, said she always felt safe at the mall.

"I truly never thought something like this would ever happen here," Cohen said. "It's really, really shocking."

___

----------------------------------------------------
COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) - A man carrying a shotgun opened fire at a busy shopping mall in suburban Baltimore on Saturday, sending store employees and customers scrambling for cover. Police said three people died, including the person believed to be the shooter. Five people were injured.

Police were still trying to determine the identity and motive of the gunman who killed a man and a woman, both in their 20s, at a skate shop called Zumiez on the upper level of the Mall in Columbia, a suburb of both Baltimore and Washington.

The Howard County Police said late Saturday that the victims were 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo of College Park, Md., and 25-year-old Tyler Johnson of Ellicott City, Md.

Howard County Police Chief William J. McMahon said at a news conference that authorities ran into difficulty in identifying the gunman because of concerns that he might be carrying explosives and were proceeding with an "abundance of caution."

Howard County General Hospital tweeted late Saturday that the five others who were injured had all been treated and released.

One patient was reported to be a shooting victim while at least three other patients sustained other injuries.

McMahon also called reports that the killings were "domestic" in origin "pure speculation."

"We do not know yet what caused the shooting incident," he said. "We do not have a motive."

Someone called 911 at around 11:15 a.m. to report a shooting at the mall. Police responded to the scene within 2 minutes and found three people dead - including one person who was found near a gun and ammunition - either inside or outside the shop, which sells skateboards and clothing and accessories.

The mall is at the center of the town and typically opens at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. It was busy with shoppers and employees when shots rang out before noon, sending scores of people scampering to find the nearest hiding place. Many found cover in backrooms of stores and barricaded themselves in until police arrived.

Joan Harding of Elkridge, Md., was shopping with her husband, David, for a tiara for their granddaughter's 18th birthday. She said she heard something heavy falling, followed by gunshots and people running.

"My husband said, 'Get down!' and the girl that worked in the store said, 'Get in the back,' " Harding said. That is where they hid until police searched the mall and signaled it was safe to leave.

At a news conference, Howard County Police Chief William J. McMahon said police are relatively confident that there was only one shooter.

"We don't know a motive yet," McMahon said. "We are very confident that it was a single shooter, and there was not another shooter in the mall."

The mall was closed to the public as police went store to store looking for people who might still be hiding, McMahon said. It will remain closed at least through the night.

McMahon said the shooting occurred at a store on the upper floor. He said it wasn't clear whether the shooting was random or whether the shooter and victims knew each other. While not explicitly calling it a murder-suicide, he said officers did not fire any shots when they arrived at the scene.

Witnesses described moments of panic as they heard a succession of gunshots and screaming as people ran for cover into nearby stores and hid behind locked doors.

Tonya Broughton of Silver Spring, Md., was with a friend getting facials for a 'girls morning out,' she said. "The only thing I heard was all the people running and screaming and saying 'There's a shooter! There's a shooter!' " she said.

Wearing a gel face mask, she and her friend hunkered down in a Victoria's Secret store.

People were directed out of the mall and into a parking lot, where some boarded a bus and others walked toward their cars. Some people were seen crying. McMahon said detectives were interviewing witnesses as they emerged from the mall to try to get a better picture of the events that had unfolded.

Laura McKindles of Columbia works at a kiosk in the mall. She said she heard between eight and 10 gunshots, followed by people running and screaming. She ran into the backroom of a perfume store and locked the door.

Allison Cohen, who works at the apparel store Lucky Brand Jeans, said she always felt safe at the mall.

"I truly never thought something like this would ever happen here," Cohen said. "It's really, really shocking."


-----------------
COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) - Someone armed with a gun opened fire at a busy shopping mall in suburban Baltimore on Saturday, sending store employees and customers scrambling for cover. Police said three people died, including the person believed to be the shooter, in an apparent murder-suicide.

The attack took place at a skate shop called Zumiez on the upper level of the Mall in Columbia, a suburb of both Baltimore and Washington, according to Howard County Police.

Someone called 911 at around 11:15 a.m. to report a shooting at the mall. Police responded to the scene and found three people dead, including one person who was found near a gun and ammunition. No details were released about their identities. Police said they had confirmed the identity of one victim.

Howard County General Hospital has confirmed it is treating another person for a gunshot wound to the foot, county police said via Twitter.

The mall is at the center of the town and typically opens at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. It was busy with shoppers and employees when shots rang out before noon, sending scores of people scampering to find the nearest hiding place. Many found cover in backrooms of stores and barricaded themselves in until police arrived.

Joan Harding of Elkridge, Md., was shopping with her husband, David, for a tiara for their granddaughter's 18th birthday. She said she heard something heavy falling, followed by gunshots and people running.

"My husband said, 'Get down!' and the girl that worked in the store said, 'Get in the back,' " Harding said. That is where they hid until police searched the mall and signaled it was safe to leave.

At a news conference, Howard County Police Chief William J. McMahon said police are relatively confident that there was only one shooter.

"We don't know a motive yet," McMahon said. "We are very confident that it was a single shooter, and there was not another shooter in the mall."

The mall was closed to the public as police went store to store looking for people who might still be hiding, McMahon said. It will remain closed at least through the night.

McMahon said the shooting occurred at a store on the upper floor. He said it wasn't clear whether the shooting was random or whether the shooter and victims knew each other. While not explicitly calling it a murder-suicide, he said officers did not fire any shots when they arrived at the scene.

Witnesses described moments of panic as they heard a succession of gunshots and screaming as people ran for cover into nearby stores and hid behind locked doors.

Tonya Broughton of Silver Spring, Md., was with a friend getting facials for a 'girls morning out,' she said. "The only thing I heard was all the people running and screaming and saying 'There's a shooter! There's a shooter!' " she said.

Wearing a gel face mask, she and her friend hunkered down in a Victoria's Secret store.

People were directed out of the mall and into a parking lot, where some boarded a bus and others walked toward their cars. Some people were seen crying. McMahon said detectives were interviewing witnesses as they emerged from the mall to try to get a better picture of the events that had unfolded.

Laura McKindles of Columbia works at a kiosk in the mall. She said she heard between eight and 10 gunshots, followed by people running and screaming. She ran into the backroom of a perfume store and locked the door.

Allison Cohen, who works at the apparel store Lucky Brand Jeans, said she always felt safe at the mall.

"I truly never thought something like this would ever happen here," Cohen said. "It's really, really shocking."


---------------------------
COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) - Police in Maryland say three people died Saturday in a shooting at a mall in suburban Baltimore, including the presumed gunman.

Howard County police said via Twitter that a shooting took place at the Mall in Columbia, a suburb of both Baltimore and Washington.

Authorities received a call to 911 at around 11:15 a.m. from someone reporting that shots had been fired. Police responded to the scene and found three people dead, including one person who was found near a gun and ammunition.

Police said they believed that one of people found dead was the shooter. There was no other information available about the two other people.

The scene was "believed to be secure" police said in a tweet released at about 12:36 p.m.

The mall is at the center of the town, a suburb of both Baltimore and Washington.

The mall typically opens at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and it was not known how many shoppers or workers might have been present at the time of the shooting.

Joan Harding of Elkridge, Md., was shopping with her husband, David, for a tiara for their granddaughter's 18th birthday. She said she heard something heavy falling, followed by gunshots and people running.

"My husband said, 'Get down!' and the girl that worked in the store said, 'Get in the back,' " Harding said. That is where they hid until police gave the all-clear.

Witnesses said they heard a succession of gunshots fired near the food court on the first floor of the mall.

People were directed out of the mall and into a parking lot, where some boarded a bus and others walked toward their cars. Some people were seen crying.

Laura McKinzles of Columbia works at a kiosk in the mall. She said she heard between eight and 10 gunshots, followed by people running and screaming. She ran into the backroom of a perfume store and locked the door.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

COLUMBIA, Maryland (WXOW) - Police believe one of the three people reported dead in a shooting at a Maryland mall is the gunman.

Police held a news conference outside the Mall in Columbia to give details on what happened.

Howard County Police Chief William J. McMahon said that the shooting occurred in the upper level of the mall in a store he declined to identify. He did not know how many shots were fired in the incident. McMahon also stated that what they know so far points to only a single shooter involved. 
Investigators are still trying to figure out a motive for the shooting.

----------------------------------------
COLUMBIA, Md. (WXOW) - ABC News is reporting that one of three people killed in a mall shooting in Maryland is the gunman.
It is not known yet whether the shooting suspect knew the other two victims. 
More details are expected to come out when police hold a news conference shortly.


WXOW.com will have updates on this developing story as the become available. 
---------------------------------- 

COLUMBIA, Md. (WXOW) -- Police say a shooting has occurred at a mall in Maryland. There are reports that three people were killed at the Mall in Columbia.

According to ABC News, the mall was put on lockdown after the shooting.  They said it was unclear how many others might have been injured in the shooting and whether the shooter knew the victims.

The Howard County fire and emergency services department sent out a tweet late Saturday morning saying that police and rescuers were responding to the Mall in Columbia, Maryland. Police confirmed that a shooting took place.

The mall is at the center of the town, a suburb of both Baltimore and Washington.













COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) - The mall in suburban Baltimore was humming with weekend shoppers when, suddenly, shotgun blasts rang out on the upper level.

Panicked patrons in the food court below, others browsing in jewelry stores or undergoing facials scrambled for cover. Some ducked into nearby stores. Others hid in inventory rooms or barricaded themselves behind locked doors until police arrived.

Within 2 minutes of the first 911 call Saturday morning, police say officers arriving at the Mall in Columbia found three people dead, including the gunman. Police say a man with a shotgun had shot a man and a woman, both in their 20s, who worked at a skateboard shop. He then killed himself.

Five others were injured in the mid-morning shooting and its aftermath. All had been released from hospitals by Saturday evening.

"This was a very scary incident," Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said. "There were a lot of people very close to where this happened."

Police Chief Edward J. McMahon said police were still seeking a motive even as he praised mall patrons for doing the right thing by sheltering in place and not stampeding toward the exits.

A news release Saturday night said police found and disabled "two crude devices that appeared to be an attempt at making explosives using fireworks." Police were searching the mall with dogs overnight, which is standard procedure, and the mall was to remain closed Sunday.

Joan Harding of Elkridge, Md., was shopping with her husband, David, for a tiara for their granddaughter's 18th birthday. She said she heard something heavy falling, followed by gunshots and people running.

"My husband said, 'Get down!' and the girl that worked in the store said, 'Get in the back,'" Harding said. That is where they hid until police searched the mall and signaled it was safe to leave.

The shooting took place around 11:15 a.m. Saturday at a shop called Zumiez, which sells skateboards, clothing and accessories. The company's chief executive, Rick Brooks, said it was making counseling available for employees in the area.

McMahon said at a news conference that authorities had difficulty identifying the gunman because of concerns he was carrying explosives and were proceeding with an "abundance of caution." By late Saturday, police said they had tentatively identified the gunman but declined to release his name while they followed up on leads.

Police identified the victims as 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo of College Park, Md., and 25-year-old Tyler Johnson of Ellicott City, Md. Both worked at Zumiez.

Benlolo's grandfather, John Feins, said in a telephone interview from Florida that his granddaughter had a 2-year-old son and that the job at Zumiez was her first since she went back to work after her son's birth.

"She was all excited because she was the manager there," he said.

He said he had spoken with his daughter, Brianna's mother, earlier in the day, but didn't know who the gunman was or whether the person knew his granddaughter.

"It's senseless. It's totally, totally senseless," he said.

He described his daughter's family as a military family that had moved frequently and had been in Colorado before moving to Maryland about two years ago. He said his granddaughter was on good terms with her son's father, and they shared custody.

"I mean what can you say? You go to work and make a dollar and you got some idiot coming in and blowing people away," he said.

The mall is at the center of the town that's a suburb of both Baltimore and Washington, and it typically opens at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. It was busy with shoppers and employees when the shots rang out before noon.

McMahon said it wasn't clear whether the gunman and victims knew each other. He said officers did not fire any shots when they arrived at the scene. A police news release said it appears the gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Tonya Broughton of Silver Spring, Md., was with a friend getting facials for a "girls' morning out," she said. "The only thing I heard was all the people running and screaming and saying 'There's a shooter! There's a shooter!'" she said.

Wearing a gel face mask, she and her friend hid in a Victoria's Secret store, as her anxious thoughts turned to her family.

People were directed out of the mall and into a parking lot, where some boarded a bus and others walked toward their cars. Police cars blocked off various entrances to the mall as SWAT officers and law enforcement vehicles gathered in the expansive parking lot. Some people were seen crying and hugging and at least one woman was carrying a baby. McMahon said detectives were interviewing witnesses as they emerged from the mall.

Laura McKindles of Columbia works at a kiosk in the mall. She said she heard between eight and 10 gunshots, followed by people running and screaming. She ran into the backroom of a perfume store and locked the door.

Allison Cohen, who works at the apparel store Lucky Brand Jeans, said she always felt safe at the mall.

"I truly never thought something like this would ever happen here," Cohen said. "It's really, really shocking."

___

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WXOW. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Theresa Wopat at 507-895-9969. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.