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Mall in Columbia Reopens

Mary Rose Madden

The Columbia Mall opened its doors to the public Monday afternoon, just 48 hours after a gunman fired nine shots, killed two mall employees and then himself.

Mall security and Howard County police say security has been increased, but didn’t say for how long.

Many waited outside for the doors to open, including five-year-old Serena Domingo from Laurel and her mother, Marla.  Serena held a bouquet of white flowers, hoping to add them to one of the two mall memorials.  Inside,  County Executive Ken Ulman had lunch with Congressman Elijah Cummings and others in the food court, which had been turned into a press hub.  Governor Martin O’Malley stopped by “as a symbol of everybody in Maryland." “We’re all in this together," he said. "All of us are vulnerable – every life is sacred."

The coffee shops were busy and the carousel gave rides to the few children who were there.  Cummings, who represents the county, said nothing could have stopped this weekend’s violence. “I don’t know what we could have done to avoid it. From everything we know so far, this young man has no previous record, has no mental illness record, and he apparently got the gun legally.” Cummings said this incident reminds him that gun violence has no boundaries, noting that the shooting occurred in one of the safest and wealthiest counties in Maryland.

Investigators are still searching for a motive.