Tyler Johnson, 25, has been identified as one of the victims at the mall in Columbia shooting. Johnson, from Ellicot City in Maryland, and Brianna Benlolo, 21, were identified by Howard County police on Saturday afternoon as the victims of the Maryland mall shooting. Both worked for popular skate store Zumiez. Tyler Johnson had just begun working there in November and Brianna was an assistant manager at the store.
Zumiez released an official statement concerning the loss of their two Maryland employees through Facebook.
“We are deeply saddened by the violence that has occurred this morning within our store in Maryland at The Mall in Columbia. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.
As you have heard from the Howard County Police the two victims are Zumiez employees. They have been identified as Brianna Benlolo and Tyler Johnson.
We’re making arrangements for counselling to be made available to Zumiez employees in the area.
As you can imagine, we are receiving numerous calls and are unable to respond to the flood of questions at this time. We’re working with the Howard County police department and all information will come through them. We won’t be giving interviews or comments. Thank you for understanding.
The Zumiez team is a tight knit community and all of our hearts go out to Brianna and Tyler’s families.” Rick Brooks, Zumiez CEO
Early reports claimed there were three dead in the Columbia mall shooting. It has now been revealed that the third death was actually the shooter. His name has not yet been released because police are further investigating the situation. It is highly likely that he was strapped with explosives. Five others were injured by the shotgun the shooter used.
Tyler Johnson was a young man recovering from a battle with drug addiction. Working at Zumiez was part of his road to recovery and his Facebook page reveals a person who was looking to move forward with his life.
In August 2012, Tyler Johnson wrote:
One year clean today. Celebrating tomorrow (8/5) at the serenity center from 6pm-7pm 9650 basket ring road, Columbia, MD, 21045. All are welcome.
And then again in August 2013:
I will be celebrating two years Sunday August 18th at 6:00pm (Personal Stories meeting of N.A.) at the Serenity Center (9650 Basket Ring road Columbia, MD) all are welcome!
Tyler Johnson seems to have been a young man who was looking forward to his future. Unfortunately, his life was cut short by the terrible circumstances at the Columbia Mall. Many offered their condolences via Twitter.
Sending my prayers to the families of Brianna Benlolo and Tyler Johnson, two Zumiez employess killed in the shooting in MD this afternoon.
— Holli Parenteau (@holliparenteau) January 26, 2014