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Maryland Mall Shooting

No Known Links Between Maryland Mall Shooter, Victims

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. Three people died, including the person believed to be the shooter, police said. The shooting took place at the Mall in Columbia, a suburb of both Baltimore and Washington, according to Howard County police. Jose Luis Magana / AP

Authorities on Sunday identified the gunman who shot and killed two skate store employees at a Maryland shopping mall Saturday.

Official said Darion Marcus Aguilar, 19, of College Park, Md., a manager at a Dunkin’ Donuts who had no criminal record, was behind the rampage that claimed the lives of two employees at a Zumiez store Saturday.

Authorities believe Aguilar, armed with a Mossberg shotgun and “a large amount of ammunition” opened fire in the store in a shopping mall in Columbia, Md., near Baltimore, before killing himself, Howard County, Md., Chief of Police Bill McMahon said Sunday.

The victims have been identified by police as Brianna Benlolo, 21, of College Park, Md., and Tyler Johnson, 25, of Mount Airy, Md. The male shooter, whose body was found nearby, had a shotgun and ammunition on him, McMahon said.

Although one of the victims lives in the same town as the suspect, police said there was no immediate connection between the two. At a Sunday evening news conference, McMahon said police have interviewed family and associates but have found “no known relationship between the victims and our shooter.”

"We want to find out why this occurred,” McMahon said at an earlier news briefing. “We still have some unanswered questions.”

He added that authorities are reviewing evidence seized from the shooter’s home — including a journal in which Aguilar “does express some general unhappiness with his life.”

McMahon said that surveillance video showed Aguilar was dropped off by a cab at the Mall in Columbia on Saturday. His mother reported him missing a few hours before the shooting, according to Howard County Police.

I've seen this guy in action before. Never upset, never sad, just quiet, just chill. If any other emotion, he was happy, laughing."

McMahon said Aguilar made “very limited movement” during the hour he spent in the mall before he fired between 6-8 shots.

“We’re still working to determining exactly where all those shots went,” McMahon said. One person suffered a gunshot wound to the foot, and four others were injured during the chaos. All five were treated and released from the hospital Saturday night, according to Howard County General Hospital.

McMahon also said that Aguilar had bought the Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun in Montgomery County Md., in December.

The state of Maryland does not regulate gunshot sales but stipulates that shotguns cannot be sold to a person under the age of 18, and federal law requires for the buyer to pass a background check. Howard County Police told NBC News that Aguilar purchased the firearm legally.

It took several hours to identify the gunman since he was carrying ammunition and a backpack and police thought he may have had explosives. "When we originally found the shooter, he still had a lot of ammunition on his person," McMahon said.

Police said they disabled crude attempts at homemade explosive devices inside the shooter's bag.

Investigators searched the mall and Aguilar’s body for any other explosives, but did not find anything more.

McMahon also said police did find ammunition in Aguilar’s home, where he lived with his mother. Investigators also seized computers and documents, McMahon said.

The Associated Press reported that Aguilar’s home is a two-story house in a “middle-income neighborhood,” where some University of Maryland students live just two miles away from the campus.

University of Maryland Chief Communications Officer Crystal Brown said that Aguilar never attended the school.

Police ID Mall Shooting Suspect 1:19

Aguilar was accepted to Montgomery College in February 2013 but never registered for classes and never attended, said Elizabeth S. Homan, director of communications at the community college in the suburbs of Washington D.C.

When he applied, Aguilar indicated he would graduate from James Hubert Blake High School in Rockville Md., Homan told NBC News. Dana Tofig, a spokeswoman for Montgomery County Public Schools, confirmed that Aguilar attended high school at Blake.

Tydryn Scott, 19, was Aguilar's lab partner at Blake and told the AP he was tall, skinny and quiet. Another student described him as an avid skateboarder.

"It was really hurtful, like, wow — someone that I know, someone that I've been in the presence of more than short amounts of time. I've seen this guy in action before. Never upset, never sad, just quiet, just chill," Scott said. "If any other emotion, he was happy, laughing."

The mall remained closed Sunday as police continued to search for a motive in the deadly slayings. Mall officials announced on Twitter Sunday night that the 200-store shopping center will reopen at 1 p.m. on Monday.

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said at the Sunday evening news briefing that the mall will have two memorial sites Monday — one outside the entrance and another inside the shopping complex.

McMahon called the mall "the main street for Columbia," adding that the closed shopping center would not only economically impact the community of less than 100,000, but would likely also have a deep psychological impact on residents.

When the mall does reopen, McMahon said grief counselors would be on site and “we will ensure that we have a strong police presence here so that people will feel comfortable and safe.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.