Posted on | January 25, 2014 | 16 Comments
It is always a mistake to speculate on the motive for mass murder until you know the identity of the murderer, and so we must resist such temptation in regard to today’s incident at the Mall in Columbia, a Howard County suburb of Baltimore, Maryland:
Three people were killed and one was injured by gunfire shortly after 11 a.m. Saturday on the second floor of a crowded Mall in Columbia, according to Howard County police. One of those who died was found near a gun and ammunition and is believed to be the shooter.
Howard County General Hospital officials reported they are treating four people, including one who was shot in the foot. The other three individuals were not being treated for gunshot wounds, but for injuries related to panic at the scene.
Police confirmed shortly before 3 p.m. that the shooting took place at Zumiez, a shoe store, and that the shooter had used a shotgun. . . .
Police reported the area is now secure. “We are confident it was a single shooter,” said Howard County Police Chief William J. McMahon, who spoke at the mall.
McMahon said he could not confirm any motive for the shooting. He said police do not know yet whether the incident was the result of a dispute between people who knew each or a random act of violence.
The fact that the gunman used a shotgun suggests that this wasn’t a case of a local gang-banger deciding to bust a cap on rival thugs; such crimes usually involve pistols. No, this was either robbery, a desperate revenge killing or an act of inexplicable madness.
Uh oh- shooting at MD mall. I predict shooter will be another mentally ill person the ACLU wouldn't let us lock up.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 25, 2014
We’ll see if Ann Coulter’s prediction is correct. By the way, nobody ever got shot while shopping our Amazon links. Just sayin’ . . .
UPDATE: OK, police have now identified the victims as “two employees at the skate shop Zumiez, Brianna Benlolo, 21, of College Park, Md., and Tyler Johnson, 25, of Ellicott City, Md.” A witness told the Baltimore Sun that “the gunman appeared to be between 18 and 21 years old.”
Just based on that, I’d guess this is a personal revenge killing. Either the shooter was a recently fired employee, or else he had a romantic interest in the girl, who spurned him. But I hasten to add, that’s just a guess. The gunman apparently committed suicide afterwards.
Hmmm. Shooter at Maryland mall used a shotgun? Do we know anybody who encouraged people to buy shotguns? pic.twitter.com/LhmyW7jgzC
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) January 26, 2014