County council member Mary Kay Sigaty, whose district the mall is in, said she could see helicopters swirling overhead and heard sirens from her Wilde Lake home.
Friends and constituents started to call. "Early on, people wanted to know if I knew what was going on," she said.
Sigaty praised Howard county police for their response. "I have been to the mall and seen our law enforcement folks working very diligently to sure people get out quickly," she said.
Sigaty said she was doing what she could to be supportive of police efforts. She said council members would likely have a briefing on the shooting.
"Now I think people just want to know what happened, " she said. "We all want to know what happened.
"My heart goes out to all of the folks who are going to be touched by this, " she added.