Courtesy of The Associated Press
COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) — A man carrying a shotgun opened fire at a busy shopping mall in suburban Baltimore on Saturday, sending store employees and customers scrambling for cover. Police said three people died, including the person believed to be the shooter. Five people were injured.
Police were still trying to determine the identity and motive of the gunman who killed a man and a woman, both in their 20s, at a skate shop called Zumiez on the upper level of the Mall in Columbia, a suburb of both Baltimore and Washington. Their identities were not released.
Howard County Police Chief William J. McMahon said at a news conference that authorities ran into difficulty in identifying the gunman because of concerns that he might be carrying explosives and were proceeding with an “abundance of caution.”
McMahon also called reports that the killings were “domestic” in origin “pure speculation.”
“We do not know yet what caused the shooting incident,” he said. “We do not have a motive.”
Someone called 911 at around 11:15 a.m. to report a shooting at the mall. Police responded to the scene within 2 minutes and found three people dead – including one person who was found near a gun and ammunition – either inside or outside the shop, which sells skateboards and clothing and accessories.
Howard County General Hospital said it was treating five patients. One patient was reported to be a shooting victim while at least three other patients sustained other injuries.