After a deadly shooting at the Columbia Mall in Maryland Saturday, CNN spoke with the manager of a jewelry store who plugged her shop before describing the scene.
“Judy Hoffman was a shopper in the mall,” said CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield. “She’s on the phone with us now. Where are you now?”
“Actually, I’m not a shopper. I’m a manager at Fire and Ice at the Columbia Mall, near Nordstrom,” Hoffman replied. “Fire and Ice is a very unique, fascinating store. We sell jewelry, fossils, a number of different unique things from all over the world…”
“Okay,” Whitfield interrupted. “What happened while you were in the store today?”
“I was waiting on a customer, and I happen to see people running towards Nordstrom, which is one of the anchor stores. It’s close to us.”
Hoffman said she asked one of the women why they were running and she was told, “There’s been a shooting.”
Hoffman then directed her customers out of the store, which sells dinosaur fossils for about $14,000 a piece, through the safest exits.
Police identified the mall shooter as Darion Marcus Aguilar, 19, of College Park. Aguilar entered the mall at 10 a.m. Saturday carrying a Mossburg 12-gauge shotgun. He killed two people, both in their twenties, on the upper level of the mall before killing himself.
The victims, 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo and her fiance 25-year-old Tyler Johnson, both worked at a skate shop in the mall called Zumiez. Benlolo was Aguilar's ex-girlfriend.