Daily Dispatches
Shooting suspect Darion Marcus Aguilar.
Associated Press/Photo by Howard County Police
Shooting suspect Darion Marcus Aguilar.

Midday Roundup: ‘General unhappiness’ might have led to mall shooting

Newsworthy

Mall shooting. Maryland officials on Sunday identified the teen who opened fire inside a mall Saturday morning, killing two people and himself. Investigators are still trying to figure out why Darion Marcus Aguilar, 19, brought a 12-gauge shotgun to the Mall of Columbia in Columbia, Md., between Baltimore and Washington, and fired it six to nine times inside a skate shop. Police identified Aguilar when his mother filed a missing persons report hours after the shooting. Officers who went to his home discovered a diary in which the recent high school graduate wrote about his general unhappiness with his life. When they began tracking Aguilar’s cell phone, they discovered it was inside the mall. They eventually identified him as the shooter. Family members of the victims, Brianna Benlolo, 21, and Tyler Johnson, 25, say they do not believe Aguilar knew or had a relationship with them.

Resignation. U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., resigned his House seat today, two months after being caught buying cocaine from an undercover police officer in Washington, D.C. Florida Gov. Rick Scott must now schedule a special election to replace Radel, whose solidly Republican southwest Florida district will most likely remain in GOP hands. Radel was one of a young crop of Republicans poised to have a bright future in politics. He was well known for his playful banter on Twitter and called himself the “hip-hop” congressman.

Death. Following a Texas judge’s order, John Peter Smith Hospital in Forth Worth on Sunday morning disconnected Marlise Muñoz from the life support machines keeping her 22-week-old baby alive. Doctors declared Muñoz brain dead on Nov. 28, two days after paramedics brought her to the hospital in a coma. But they continued to treat Muñoz to save her baby, against the family’s wishes.

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Good government? Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin goes on trial today on corruption charges. He is accused of taking more than $200,000 in cash, gifts, and vacations in exchange for lucrative city contracts. Nagin became a national household name in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina. He took office in 2002 on promises of good government. During a federal investigation into the graft allegations, several of Nagin’s former associates signed plea deals in exchange for testifying against him. Nagin faces up to 20 years in prison.

Purge. South Korean news agency Yonhap is reporting that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered a brutal and vindictive family purge after executing his uncle Jang Song Thaek. Citing multiple but unnamed sources, the news channel claims Kim ordered Jang’s immediate family members, including children, killed. Analysts say, if true, the news confirms Kim’s brutality, much worse than his father or grandfather, and his fear of potential opposition. Jang was considered the country’s second highest ranking official, behind Kim, and his execution shocked many North Korean experts.

Angry birds. In an awkward moment for Pope Francis, two vicious and obviously war-mongering birds attacked the peace doves he released with the help of school children at the end of the Vatican’s “Caravan of Peace” this weekend. As soon as the children shooed the winged white symbols off the Pope’s windowsill in St. Peter’s Square, a seagull and a black crow swooped in and attacked them. The bewildered doves managed to fly off, but their attackers were in hot pursuit. No one knows what happened after they flapped out of sight.

Leigh Jones
Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Atlanta and is the managing editor of WORLD's website.

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