Police: 3 dead, including presumed gunman

CREATED Jan. 25, 2014

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COLUMBIA, MD - Police confirm three dead including the believed suspect in a shooting at a suburban Baltimore mall.

The Howard County Police Department confirmed the deaths on it's Twitter account, and said one of the deceased is the suspected shooter. A police department news release said one subject was located near a gun and ammunition, and is believed to have likely been the shooter. 

The news release said there have been no reports of shots fired since the body was discovered. Authorities have no confirmed the identities of any people involved and are asking people to stay inside until police can clear them. 

The scene was "believed to be secure" police said in a tweet issued at about 12:36 p.m. 

Authorities said in a press conference two other people with minor injuries were transported to a hospital for treatment. 

Howard County General Hospital released a statement saying they received four patients related to the shooting and said all are in good condition. The hospital said one patient is a shooting victim and three sustained other injuries. 

The Howard County Fire and emergency services department sent out a tweet at 11:25 a.m. Saturday, saying that police and rescuers were responding to "an active shooter" at the Mall in Columbia in Maryland. 

The mall typically opens at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and it was not known how many shoppers or workers may have been at the scene.

Joan Harding of Elkridge, Md., was shopping with her husband, David, for a tiara for their granddaughter's 18th birthday. She said she heard something heavy falling, followed by gunshots and people running.

"My husband said, 'Get down!' and the girl that worked in the store said, `Get in the back,' " Harding said. That is where they hid until police gave the all-clear.

Witnesses said they heard a succession of gunshots fired near the food court on the first floor of the mall. Police would not confirm where the shooting took place. 

People were directed out of the mall and into a parking lot, where some boarded a bus and others walked toward their cars. Some people were seen crying.

Laura McKinzles of Columbia works at a kiosk in the mall. She said she heard between eight and 10 gunshots, followed by people running and screaming. She ran into the backroom of a perfume store and locked the door.

The Maryland mall is at the center of the town, a suburb of both Baltimore and Washington.