Gunman Met Someone Before Columbia Mall Shooting

Columbia Mall gunman Darion Aguilar met someone in Burtonsville, Md., before the shooting in which two people were killed before he turned the gun on himself Jan. 25.

That morning, Aguilar, 19, left his College Park home at 5:15 and met another young man at a Wendy’s on Briggs Chaney Road, sources told News4. Sometime after 9:30 a.m., he used a smartphone app to summon a Barwood taxi to take him to the mall. An employee at the restaurant said the two men parted ways when the cab arrived.

Aguilar sat quietly slouched in the cab and carried a backpack that appeared to be heavy, according to sources. He left the driver a $13 tip for the $27 fare.

After the driver heard about the shooting on the radio, he called police to say he dropped off someone there who appeared to be “weird.”

The Wendy’s employee who spoke to News4 recognized Aguilar from a picture and described him as a polite young man who she’d seen at the restaurant before with other young people.

About an hour after arriving at the mall, Aguilar went on a shooting spree inside the Zumiez store, killing employees 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo and 25-year-old Tyler Johnson.

Aguilar also was with an unidentified man when he bought the shotgun used in the shooting.

The Mall in Columbia will hold a moment of silence at 11:15 a.m. Saturday to remember the victims.

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