COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — The Mall in Columbia reopened Monday afternoon with an increased police presence.

Jessica Kartalija has more.

The employees who were there at the time of the shooting and many who weren’t this past weekend are coming back to work for the first time and having to deal with all of this. Monday, Governor Martin O’Malley, County Executive Ken Ulman and Howard County’s police chief came to the mall for lunch to show there’s no reason to be afraid. The mall is back open and it will thrive once again.

A memorial is just outside the Mall in Columbia as employees leave flowers for the victims in Saturday’s shooting.

“You just don’t feel safe. You don’t know where to feel safe anymore. You kiss your kids goodbye when you go to work every day and just something like this, you don’t know if you’ll come home to them, “said Cori Koss.

“I had to be strong and go back because I know it was a bad day and hopefully that’s it,” said one woman.

The mall officially reopened its doors at 1 p.m. with the county’s top brass heading to the food court for lunch.

“We’re getting back to business and we want to send the community a message that this is a very safe place to be,” said County Executive Ken Ulman.

“My being here is again to mourn the deaths, to pray for those who were injured, but at the same time say to the public, we cannot let violence stop us from doing our normal activities,” said Congressman Elijah Cummings.

“We’re all in this together and every single life in our state is needed,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.

While the throng of media, police and politicians is atypical for a Monday at the mall, those who come here often say they’re happy to see things getting back to normal.

“It’s a tragedy but it’s important to see that life continues, as well,” said one man.

Police Chief Bill McMahon says the mall is the cornerstone of the community but also says people will have a hard time coming to the mall for a long time without thinking about what happened.

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