WHEATON, Md. - Montgomery County police have arrested a 17-year-old for the deadly stabbing of two people at Westfield Wheaton mall.
Angelo Lamont Jackson, of Montgomery Village, has been charged as an adult with two counts of first-degree murder. Police said the arrest was made after reviewing mall surveillance footage. Jackson was identified as the suspect after multiple officers recognized him from having prior contact with him, police said.
Police arrested Jackson Wednesday afternoon as he exited his home. He is being held without bond.
One day after the stabbing, there are questions that remain about security at the mall. FOX 5 learned that the suspect slipped away by walking out a mall door. That is despite a security team that we are told is robust inside the mall.
At the height of the stabbings and even during the aftermath, the mall remained open even though both victims had initially suffered life-threatening injuries on the first floor of the mall. Both men would later die at the hospital.
Both of the victims in the stabbing have been identified as 24-year-old Angel Alfredo Gomez-Pineda of Silver Spring and 22-year-old Kevin Siloe Moya Cruz of Wheaton, police said.
Westfield's security is reportedly reviewing the incident.
"That's private property," said Montgomery County Police Capt. Paul Starks. "I don't know what the protocol may be. If they want our advice, we will certainly give it to them. This thing happened at 3:15 [p.m.] I don't think they were trying to evacuate people at 4:45 [p.m.].
At 5:17 p.m. Tuesday, Westfield Wheaton mall tweeted, "Earlier today, an incident was reported which is being handled by @mcpnews. We thank them for responding to the matter."
There was no mention about an attacker on the loose or whether shoppers should stay away from certain parts of the mall. In fact, we asked mall security live on the air on FOX 5 News Tuesday evening if the mall was open or closed. The security guard said he could not give that information.
FOX 5 has learned mall security initially determined closing off the area where the attack happened was sufficient. A source close to the mall's security team would only describe the stabbing aftermath as fluid. Surveillance cameras were apparently rolling before, during and after the fatal stabbings.
"Before the stabbings, there was a conflict between the suspect and two of the victims … who did succumb to their injuries, the two victims who were stabbed," said Starks. "And a short time later, the suspect, the two victims and two other subjects basically met, maybe by happenstance, in the lower level of the mall area."
All surveillance footage was turned over to police. Those same cameras reportedly caught the suspect taking off.
We have seen attacks and altercations in malls in our region before. On Jan. 25, 2014 at The Mall in Columbia, a gunman walked into a clothing store and fired shots killing two employees. Last May, Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda was one of the scenes in a series of sporadic shootings by a former federal law enforcement officer.
We are told the security staff at Westfield Wheaton mall is reviewing this recent incident as they usually do when anything occurs on the property.