WASHINGTON — A teenager has been arrested and charged as an adult in connection with a fatal double stabbing that was committed in broad daylight Tuesday at a busy Wheaton, Maryland, shopping center.
Angelo Jackson, 17, was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon as he was leaving his home in Montgomery Village.
Montgomery County police say Jackson stabbed two men at the Westfield Wheaton mall, which was packed with shoppers at the time. Both of the victims died from their injuries.
Jackson has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and is being held without bond.
Following the crime, detectives spoke with witnesses and reviewed mall surveillance footage and said in a statement that “the video shows the suspect, armed with a knife, stabbing one victim and then while still armed, pursuing the second victim.”
Police obtained a still photograph of Jackson from the video and released it within the department. They say multiple officers were able to identify the suspect as Jackson from having prior contact with him.
One of the victims has been identified as Angel Pineda-Gomez of Silver Spring, Maryland. Police initially said he was 22-years-old but later made a correction, confirming he was 24.
The second victim’s identity has not yet been released.
Police say the stabbing began with a “physical altercation” between the suspect and the victims near the Hollister clothing store on the mall’s lower level. It is not clear what prompted the altercation, and detectives are still investigating a possible motive.
Police who responded to the mall blocked off entrances but the mall itself was never closed or locked down. Capt. Paul Starks declined to comment about the mall’s decision not to lock down the facility, but he said a portion of the mall was closed to protect the scene.
“The information that we had — we provided that to mall management,” Starks said. “The decision was made to keep the mall open. But, again, I don’t speak for mall management.”
Westfield Corporate Communications referred WTOP to police for official information.
“The center continues to cooperate fully with the ongoing law enforcement investigation,” said spokeswoman Catharine Dickey.