Local News

Friends of mall shooting victim devastated

Brianna Benlolo was a Sand Creek High School graduate.

Friends of mall shooting victim devastated

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Friends of one of the victims in Saturday's mall shooting in Maryland are remembering Brianna Benlolo.

Benlolo graduated from Sand Creek High School in Colorado Springs in 2010. Her high school friends said they were shocked to learn about her death. They described her as bubbly, outgoing and kind to everyone. 

Saturday morning (01/25/14) was like any other work day for Brianna Benlolo until 11:15 a.m. when the busy Maryland mall became a terrifying scene. A gunman walked into the mall where Brianna worked and shot and killed her and her co-worker, 25-year-old Tyler Johnson.

Police identified the shooter as Darion Marcus Aguilar, 19. Officers said Aguilar shot and killed himself inside the mall. Investigators are still trying to figure out whether he even knew the victims.

"I was shocked instantly. The fact that someone's negligence took away someone's daughter, took away our friend, took away someone's mother, it was just heartbreaking," said Brianna's friend Alex Hamilton.

Hamilton said Brianna was the student everyone wanted to be friends with in high school.

"We just had this joke where I thought her last name was so funny, where I would go, 'Brianna Benlolo!' and she'd go, 'Alex Hamilton!'"

Benlolo's high school friends kept in touch, but said they wish they could have one more day with Brianna.

"I just couldn't believe someone so beautiful was taken so soon. She didn't deserve it. Just because someone couldn't control themselves, it didn't need to happen," said Brianna's friend Alyssa Gagnon in tears.

"I wouldn't think in a million years that one of my good friends who now lives 1,800 miles away would be a victim in a terrible tragedy like this," said Hamilton.

The two friends are planning a memorial for Benlolo, hoping to reunite the Sand Creek High School Class of 2010 to remember their classmate.

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