Detectives believe the employee stabbed to death Monday morning at Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg, Maryland, was targeted, police told Telemundo 44.
Authorities identified the victim on Tuesday as 23-year-old José Alexander Maldonado, of Gaithersburg. He worked at a T-Mobile store inside the mall, police said.
On Monday, Montgomery County and Gaithersburg officers responded to the mall on Russell Avenue and found Maldonado with multiple stab wounds outside the food court.
He was taken to a hospital in critical condition where he later died, police said.
Authorities said they don't have a suspect in custody and did not provide a possible description. Police had previously said they believed the attacker ran off toward the Macy's store after the attack.
The investigation is ongoing. Information on a motive was not immediately available.
Maldonado’s family told T44 that they were in shock and didn't understand why their loved one was attacked.
"Why did they do this to him?" the victim's aunt said. "I don't lose faith. I know one day, I'll have that person face to face and I'll ask them why they did this to him."
This is the second loss the family has had to face in a matter of days. One of Maldonado's cousins was killed last week in Virginia Beach, Maldonado's uncle said.
"It's something inexplicable, that is all very hard to understand," the man told T44. "One wonders what else will happen. For the time being, the only thing to do is comfort the family with the little strength one has and help with what one can."
Maldonado had recently bought his first car and was very happy at his job, his family said. His dream was to eventually buy his mother a house.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 240-773-5070.