MARRIOTTSVILLE, Md. (AP) - The Maryland mall gunman appeared obsessed
with mass murder and may have fixated on the 1999 Columbine High School
shooting, dressing like one of the shooters and timing his attack so
that it occurred about the same time of day 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 two people he killed Jan. 25 at The Mall in Columbia. Aguilar killed himself soon after the shootings.
Investigators found thousands of searches on Aguilar's computer
related to mass murder, school shootings, guns and explosives. Aguilar
showed "a particular fascination with the Columbine shooting," McMahon
He also looked up websites for people with mental health problems,
and he told a doctor he was hearing voices in the months before the
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 about the same time 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.
Just before he emerged from the dressing room of the Zumiez
skateboarding and snowboarding store to begin the shooting, Aguilar took
a picture of himself in the mirror and posted it to the social media
website Tumblr. Some of way he is dressed, wearing a white T-shirt,
boots and cargo pants with his shotgun in a sling around him, is
reminiscent of one of the Columbine killers, McMahon said.
"I had to do this. Today is the day," Aguilar wrote in a post with
the photo, adding that he woke up and "felt no emotions no empathy no
McMahon said investigators believe Aguilar took the picture to gain
notoriety and intended for police to find it and show it to the public.
"We're not going to help him have that notoriety," McMahon said.
McMahon also talked about what has been described as Aguilar's
"journal." McMahon said what police discovered was about 20 handwritten
loose-leaf pages in roughly chronological order. In a portion police
released, Aguilar makes an angry, expletive-laced statement in which he
anticipates the killings in "a couple of hours."
"Everything seems fake. I think that I may already be dead," he wrote.
At another point in the papers, he acknowledged he needed to see a psychiatrist, McMahon said.
Aguilar told a doctor in April that he was hearing voices, but they
were "nonviolent and nonspecific," the chief said. The doctor referred
him to a psychiatrist, but police could not find that Aguilar ever met
with one. McMahon said the doctor told police he later followed up with
Aguilar's mother, but she does not remember the conversation.
A review of Aguilar's Internet searches found visits to mental health sites, including ones for people considering suicide.
"He knows he's sick. He knows he has problems that need to be
addressed. He writes it in his journal. He writes in his journal he's
not comfortable talking to his mother about it," McMahon said, adding
that there was no indication he ever spoke with anyone about his
Police said they released more information about the case in an
effort to bring closure for the community, including the families of
Aguilar's victims, 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo and 25-year-old Tyler
Johnson. They were both Zumiez employees.
McMahon said the investigation is continuing, though no new significant information is expected.
You may also like...
Beach Treasure: Lost wedding ring found 8 months later
Nudist Lawsuit: Blind woman sues for having service dog refused
Reptile Invasion: Exotic "tegu lizards" taking over Tampa Bay
Dream Date: High schooler taking NFL cheerleader to the prom
Underwater Secret: Hidden caves beneath Weeki Wachee
Send in the Clowns: Clown shortage threatens the nation
Sasquatch on Tour: "Dead Bigfoot" on display in Texas
Eat Up: Yoga mat chemical found in hundreds of store foods
#ShortYellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights
Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children
Popular photo galleries:
Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers
Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos
Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant
Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV ***warning graphic***
Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole
Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here
Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here