Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski
COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) — Police say they disabled crude attempts at explosive devices found in the bag of the gunman who opened fire at a busy shopping mall in suburban Baltimore on Saturday, killing two employees of a skate shop and then himself as panicked shoppers ran for cover, police said.
A news release Saturday night said police found and disabled “two crude devices that appeared to be an attempt at making explosives using fireworks.”
Police were searching the Mall in Columbia with dogs overnight, which is standard procedure, and the mall was to remain closed Sunday.
By late Saturday, police said they had tentatively identified the gunman but declined to release his name while they followed up on leads.
Howard County Police Chief William J. McMahon said at a news conference that authorities had difficulty identifying the gunman because of concerns he was carrying explosives and were proceeding with an “abundance of caution.”
Police were still trying to determine the motive of the gunman who killed a man and a woman, both in their 20s, at a skate shop called Zumiez on the upper level of the mall.
Witnesses described hearing gunshots and screams as shoppers ducked into nearby stores and hid behind locked doors. Many found cover in stockrooms and barricaded themselves until the arrival of police, who searched store to store. By late afternoon, the mall had been cleared of shoppers and employees.
This is breaking news; updates will be added.