Earlina Miles, of Towson, was carrying Nordstrom bags and said she hadn't heard about the shooting. But when she learned the man had been shot in the early evening, she said, "That's exactly why I come here in the daytime."

At night, "there's a lot of people just kind of watching people shop, I have noticed," she said.

Dennis Colhouer, of Ellicott City, was doing his Christmas shopping, and said he comes to the mall five or six times a year. "Most of that stuff is not random," he said of the shooting. "So it doesn't really concern me."

Robin Smith, who sells Lindt chocolates at a kiosk, said it seemed like a normal day at the mall. "It doesn't seem like anyone is scared to come up here," she said.

County Councilman David Marks, who represents the Towson area, joined police at the Tuesday news conference.

"I think most people recognize that this is an isolated incident," said Marks, a Republican. "[The mall] is going to be probably more safe than it was before."

Mike Steiner of Timonium said he had tried to go shopping Monday night, but couldn't get in because police had blocked mall entrances. He returned Tuesday morning.

"I think it's a safe mall," Steiner said, pointing to a security camera in the parking garage. "I think we're pretty well protected."

In a prepared statement, mall manager Charles Crerand said the mall's "extensive video surveillance system" was aiding police.

"The safety and security of our shoppers, retailers and employees are our top concerns every day, not just when incidents occur," he said.

A 2005 Baltimore County law required shopping centers with 15 or more retail businesses to install security cameras. That measure was prompted by the killing of 58-year-old William Bassett, a popular St. Paul's School science teacher and dean, in the Towson Town Center parking garage.

Detectives are asking anyone with information to contact the Baltimore County Police Department at 410-307-2020.

Baltimore Sun reporters Mary Gail Hare, Justin Fenton and Gus G. Sentementes contributed to this article.