WHEATON, Md. - A teenager charged for the fatal stabbings of two men inside a mall in Wheaton was ordered held without bond after he made his initial court appearance on Thursday.
Montgomery County police say the murders of 22-year-old Kevin Cruz and 24-year-old Angel Gomez-Pineda were captured on a mall security camera mounted above an entrance to a hallway near the JCPenney store.
According to police, the video shows 17-year-old Angelo Jackson can be seen with a knife in his hands as the two victims attempt to defend themselves with bamboo poles taken from a restaurant display.
"Before the stabbings, there was a conflict between the suspect and two of the victims … who were stabbed,” said Montgomery County Police Capt. Paul Starks. “And a short time later, the suspect, the two victims and two other subjects basically met, maybe by happenstance, again in the lower level of the mall area.”
It is unclear what led to the attack. Nothing was said in court on Thursday that indicated the motive. There was also no mention of a gang connection.
However, Jackson’s defense attorney said in court he worked at a Taco Bell, JCPenney and Macy's. It is unclear if he may have been working at any of those establishments on the day of the murders.
Jackson has a juvenile record and the prosecutor in this case said he has previous convictions for assault and attempted robbery.
Jackson's family was in the courtroom for the brief hearing, but declined to comment on the charges as they left.
According to police, detectives gave out a photo of the suspect to Montgomery County officers and several of them were able to identify the suspect as Jackson after having previous contact with him.