CRIME

Columbia mall tragedy: Darion Aguilar wanted mental health help, police say

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(WJLA) - Police say a shotgun used in a deadly attack at The Mall in Columbia last weekend was assembled in the dressing room of the skateboard shop where the rampage took place.

Howard County police said on their Twitter account Wednesday that investigators believe Darion Aguilar entered the mall with the 12-gauge shotgun disassembled in a backpack and then put the weapon together once inside Zumiez.

The 19-year-old fatally shot store employees Brianna Benlolo, 21, and Tyler Johnson, 25, before taking his own life. Detectives are working to determine a motive.

Police have released a few details surrounding Aguilar's mental state.

In a journal recovered from his College Park home, Aguilar expressed thoughts of death and a general hatred of others. Police say his writings also included the mentions of killing people. He did not mention the victims or any specific person. Aguilar indicated that he thought he needed to see a mental health professional, but never told his family. He also mentioned using marijuana and expressed an apology to his family for what he was planning to do, police say.

Aguilar had been reported missing Saturday afternoon, hours after the deadly attack.

In recently released documents from Prince George's County Police, Aguilar was said to have last been seen at 5:15 a.m. on his way to work at Dunkin Donuts on Baltimore Avenue in College Park. According to the document, he did not show up for work.

Police say Aguilar was picked up by a cab that morning at a Wendy's in Silver Spring. He was dropped off at the mall just after 10 a.m. and entered the building near Zumiez. He went downstairs to a food court directly below the store, then returned less than an hour later, dumped the backpack in a dressing room and started shooting, police say.

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