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3 Dead In Shooting At Baltimore-Area Shopping Mall

Police move in from a parking lot to the Mall in Columbia after reports of a multiple shooting, on Saturday, in Howard County, Md.
Jose Luis Magana
Police move in from a parking lot to the Mall in Columbia after reports of a multiple shooting, on Saturday, in Howard County, Md.

Updated 9 p.m. ET

Three people are dead after an assailant armed with a shotgun entered a suburban Baltimore shopping mall on Saturday and shot two store employees before killing himself, police said.

"We were able to identify three victims at an upper level store," Howard County Police Chief Bill McMahon told reporters. "One of the victim appears to be the shooter."

The Washington Post reported:

"It happened just after 11 a.m., about 25 miles north of Washington, when a gunman opened fire on the mall's second level, killing two employees of Zumiez, a clothing store for skateboarders and snowboarders, Howard County police said. Minutes later, when officers arrived, they found the shooter dead of an apparently self-inflicted wound."

Later Saturday, police identified the two slain store employees as Brianna Benlolo, 21, of College Park, Md., and Tyler Johnson, 25, of Ellicott City, Md.

The shooter had not been identified.

The Washington Post cited an unnamed law enforcement official as saying the weapon used was a 12-gauge pump-action Mossberg shotgun.

McMahon said authorities are "confident" there was only a single shooter at the Columbia Mall, located on the outskirts of Baltimore. He said no motive had been determined.

At the time of the shooting, Howard County police tweeted that officers "made entry and found three dead, one found near a gun and ammunition."

Officials later said four people were also hurt, but none of them seriously.

Early in the day, the Baltimore Sun reported:

"Customers inside the mall are reporting that the mall is in lockdown and customers have been directed toward the AMC Theater. Other customers reported hearing gunfire before fleeing the mall."

McMahon said that the first 911 calls from the scene came in at about 11:15 a.m. ET.

The Associated Press quotes Laura McKinzles of Columbia, who works in the mall, as saying she heard between eight and 10 gunshots, followed by people running and screaming. She ran into the backroom of a perfume store and locked the door.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.