Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Police: Md. mall shooter fascinated by Columbine

MARRIOTTSVILLE, Md. — The gunman who killed two people at a Maryland mall appeared obsessed with mass murder and was fascinated by the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, dressing like one of the shooters and timing his attack so that it occurred about the same time as the Colorado massacre, police said Wednesday.

Howard County Police Chief William J. McMahon said during a news conference that investigators found no indication that 19-year-old Darion Aguilar knew the victims of the Jan. 25 shooting at The Mall in Columbia. Aguilar killed himself inside the mall soon after the shootings.

Investigators found thousands of searches on Aguilar's computer related to mass murder, school shootings, guns and explosives. He also looked up websites for people with mental health problems.

Several pieces of information led police to believe Aguilar may have had a fixation with the shooting at Columbine, where two students killed 12 classmates and a teacher and wounded 26 others before killing themselves in the school's library. Police believe Aguilar may have waited inside the mall for over 40 minutes in order to begin his shooting at about the same time of day that the Columbine massacre started. He also downloaded a video game based on the Columbine killing, though it's not clear if he played it, McMahon said.

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