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Police say gunman dead, five injured in DC-area mall shooting

Police say gunman dead, five injured in DC-area mall shooting

**UPDATE**

(Columbia, MD) -- Three people are dead, five others have been injured after a shotgun-shooting inside a shopping mall in Columbia, Maryland.  Howard County police say the gunman is dead, though they've not been able to identify him or a motive because of possible live ammunition still on his body.

Police have identified two of the three people who died.  Howard County Police Chief Bill McMahon says 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo of College Park and 25-year-old Tyler Johnson were killed at the Columbia Mall this morning.  Both were employees of Zumiez, a store where the shooting started.  Five others were hurt, and have all been treated and released from the hospital.   McMahon says they've not yet identified the gunman as investigators couldn't get close to him until they made sure that his remaining ammunition wouldn't explode. 

Some federal authorities have reportedly said the shooting may have been a targeted murder-suicide but the police chief says that's purely speculation right now.  McMahon says information is slow to come because investigators were only let into the mall after SWAT teams made sure there were no other victims or shooters.  

McMahon says officers immediately responded to reports of gunfire at the busy mall. NBC-4 in Washington reports witnesses described the weapon as a shotgun.  People living near the Columbia Mall in Maryland were asked to avoid the area Saturday.

The busy shopping center is located about 40 minutes from the nation's capital.   

[Get the latest from NBC 4 ]

 

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