Nightly News   |  January 26, 2014

Who Were the Maryland Mall Shooting Victims?

Police identify the shooter and the two victims, but still search for a motive and link between the trio.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> who he is, but why he opened fire in a crowded maryland mall yesterday and what his ultimate plan was remains a mystery tonight. two store workers were killed along with the shooter now identified as 19-year-old darion aguilar , who took his own life. he had plenty of ammunition and even crude explosives. on the heels of other recent mall attacks comes the question, can we better secure these sprawling complexes?

>> reporter: 21-year-old brianna benlolo and 20-year-old tyler johnson were killed when 19-year-old darion marcus aguilar opened shooting in zoomies, where the two worked. a family friend of aguilar , who police say was a manager at the dunkin' donuts near the home he shared with his mother. a woman who identified herself as his mother said she was devastated and didn't know her son owned a gn.

>> he's never, never had a gun before, never been interested in guns, never been interested in anything like that. i don't know what happened. i just don't know what happened. i don't know what happened.

>> reporter: police said today surveillance video shows a cab dropping off aguilar at the mall around 10:15 am . he was carrying a backpack and stayed on the first floor for at least an hour. at that moment, according to authorities, he fired six to nine shots in and around the second-floor store, killing the two victims and shooting another victim in the foot on the first floor. his body was found next to a mossberg shotgun. there were homemade explosives in a bag nearby.

>> with the help of our colleagues with the fbi state fire marshal we were able to render those devices safe.

>> reporter: as reality set in, shoppers returned to retrieve their items this afternoon, still haunted by the experience.

>> i was scared. obviously, i didn't really know what was going on, so i just kind of ran with everybody else.

>> reporter: in nearby washington, some lawmakers said recent shootings in public places beg the question, is more security needed?

>> it does highlight the vulnerability of shopping malls to shootings, soft targets like we saw in the kenya shopping mall case. that's the kind of scenario we do not want to see happen in the united states .

>> reporter: but the county executive of this grieving community says it's a larger problem.

>> we live in a democracy and we are not going to secure our way out of our freedom. we're not going to have metal detectors at every grocery store and every shop iping center and every mall. we're better than this, as a country. so we have to figure out as a society how to do a better job at these things.

>> reporter: now, police say they still don't know the motive behind the shooting. they say aguilar bought that shotgun legally at a store in maryland last year. he didn't have a criminal record. authorities say he did leave behind a journal in which he expressed depressed feelings. while this investigation continues, this mall will reopen tomorrow afternoon. lester?