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A gunman killed two Zumiez employees and then took his own life this morning at The Mall in Columbia outside Baltimore.
Howard County police chief William McMahon said at an afternoon press conference outside the mall that officials received a number of 911 calls at 11:15 a.m. and arrived on the scene in two minutes.
Police found the bodies of the two store employees, a man and a woman both in their 20s, as well as the body of the man suspected of shooting them. McMahon, whose remarks were televised live by WBAL-TV, said officials found a shotgun and ammunition near the shooter and were proceeding with an “abundance of caution” in case he was carrying explosives.
One other person was being treated at a local hospital for a gunshot wound, while four others were being treated for either medical conditions or minor injuries such as a twisted ankle. McMahon said his office was investigating the incident and that he could not confirm reports that it was the result of a domestic dispute.
The authorities took several hours to clear the mall.
During an interview with WBAL-TV a group of shoppers who were at a nearby Justice store said they heard two shots and were then ushered into a back room by associates at that store.
McMahon said at the press conference, “Many people left and many people stayed and did what they were trained to do and that was shelter in place.”
The Mall in Columbia is about 20 miles southwest of Baltimore and is anchored by Sears, Macy’s, Lord & Taylor and J.C. Penney.