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People Who Knew Mall Shooter Search For Answers

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(Photo Credit: Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Ritchie Rochelle 175x131 L Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) —  The tragedy at the Mall in Columbia still seems unreal. There is new information coming out about the life of the mall shooter.

Rochelle Ritchie has more.

We haven’t seen anyone going in or leaving the mall shooter’s home. However, we did find a man who employed Darion Aguilar to do a few side jobs.

WJZ tracked down Ryan Newkirk at a local tint shop where Aguilar worked just a few weeks before carrying out a double homicide inside the Mall in Columbia.

“He came in and I assumed he was a customer at first and he said that he was into cars — and I’m not sure if he had one — but he liked cars. He started talking to me about employment and how did we get into this industry,” Newkirk said.

As a good gesture, Newkirk allowed Aguilar to work a few times to make a few extra bucks and learn the trade of window tinting.

“He said he’d take out trash and give us a hand, said he was a quick learner. He was on the window tint side and tinting some windows for us and kind of liked stereos a little bit more so went over to stereo work and learned everything that I taught him with no problems,” Newkirk said.

Aguilar’s quest to excel turned tragic Saturday morning when Howard County Police say he gunned down Tyler Johnson and Brianna Benlolo.

Aguilar graduated from James Hubert Blake High School in Silver Spring. A quick search of his name turned up no criminal record and friends are shocked at his actions.

So what made him snap? Aguilar’s mother, who spoke with our news partners, CBS Radio WNEW, says she has no idea.

“I don’t know. Never had a gun before, never been interested in guns, never been interested in anything like that,” she said.

Aguilar lived with a family at a home in College Park, where no one’s been seen since Saturday. Many who viewed him as a hardworking, peaceful kid are still in disbelief.

“Surprising. You always hear about this somewhere else, not in your own backyard…especially not right across the street,” said one man.

We have also learned that Aguilar’s mother reported him missing two hours after the shooting. That’s when police came to the house, found a journal and became concerned. They say the writing showed signs of someone who was unhappy.

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