Zumiez store, where two employees killed, reopens at Columbia Mall
COLUMBIA, Md. (WJLA) - The Zumiez store in Columbia Mall is once again open to the public Tuesday, four months after two employees were shot and killed by a shooter who then killed himself.
But can sales and customers help erase the memory of the inexplicable tragedy that occurred here on that morning of January 25.
The store where 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo and 25-year-old Tyler Johnson were gunned down has since been completely remodeled, and store owners hope that the black tiles at the entrance bearing their initials, "B" and "T," will help keep their spirit alive as the community continues to heal.
Investigators still have yet to determine why 19-year-old Darion Aguilar came to the mall that January day, or why he stepped from a changing room with a loaded gun and opened fire on the clerks – two apparent strangers.
But they did determine this skateboard enthusiast had a lot of demons he kept to himself.
Zumiez reopened only after consulting with the families of the victims first. And while the reopening is viewed by some as a return to normalcy, others like Chris Griffin believes it’s back in business too soon.
"I don't think its right. I think they deserve more time," he said. "I just don't think they will get much business."
Others say its a way to find some closure and normalcy.
"It's important to be respectful, while still not forgetting what happened," said Maggie Chidester, a Columbia resident.