Zumiez in Columbia mall to reopen in May

The Zumiez store in The Mall in Columbia that was the scene of a double murder-suicide on Jan. 25 is going to reopen in mid to late May, a Zumiez spokeswoman said Friday.

Kate Bowers, a spokeswoman for the Columbia Mall, said earlier this week that the store, which has been boarded up since the deadly shooting that claimed the lives of two store employees and the 19-year-old shooter, will be remodeled and reopened.


Kat Spellman, a spokeswoman for Zumiez, said Friday that the store will open in May, but did not give a specific date.

She added that the decision to reopen was done after consulting with the families of the victims -- Zumiez employees Brianna Benlolo, 21, and Tyler Johnson, 25.

The announcement of the reopening comes less than a month after Howard County police released detailed information about the killings and the shooter, Darion Marcus Aguilar, 19, of College Park.

Police said that the killings were not targeted and that Aguilar intended the incident to be a mass shooting akin to the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.

Police said Aguilar waited until 11:14 a.m. — the time the Columbine shootings occurred in Littleton, Colo. — before coming out of a dressing room at the store and shooting Benlolo and Johnson. After firing other shots, including one that wounded a shopper in the heel, he shot and killed himself.

Since the shooting, the boarded-up storefront has become a de facto memorial to the two victims, as mall patrons have written a variety of messages on the white walls.

Bowers said "all the memorials showed tremendous love and support. Out of respect for that, the previous barricade was cataloged for the families."

Bowers said the barricade was taken down and replaced on March 25.