Within two minutes of the first 911 call Saturday, Howard County police had arrived at The Mall in Columbia.
Though an event such as the shooting in which three died had never occurred before in the county, police say they were prepared because of joint training between police and mall security.
"Our law enforcement train and are prepared, and they did exactly what they prepared to do," said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.
Late Saturday night, reflecting on the day's events, Ulman said that while the shooting was a "scary incident," responders were prepared.
"Because we know the mall is such a public place, we've trained here," he...