BALTIMORE -- A man died and two others were seriously injured in a triple shooting outside a gas station Monday night in Columbia, Howard County Police said.
Police identified the man who died as 24-year-old Dylan Migel Perez. WJZ spoke exclusively with his mother, who described her son as her best friend.
Officers responded shortly before 10 p.m. to the Exxon on the 6000 block of Foreland Garth after hearing gunshots, where they found a man outside the business with a gunshot wound. He was transported to Shock Trauma in Baltimore, where he is listed in critical but stable condition, police said.
Perez and another man suffering from gunshot wounds arrived at Howard County General Hospital's Emergency Room around 10:10 p.m., according to police. That's where Perez died.
The second victim is listed in critical but stable condition. Investigators believe they drove from the Exxon.
Perez's mother, Sunny LaLuz, admits she and her son weren't always on the same page. But, they were very close.
"He wasn't perfect, but he was my perfect," LaLuz said.
She said Perez was working his way to enroll in Morgan State University to get a business degree. She adds he was a loving brother, father and uncle.
"He was taking off and someone took him from me," LaLuz said through tears. "They took him from his son, they took him from his niece, and they took him from his [cousins, father, brothers, and sisters]."
Officials believe the shooting was not random, based on preliminary evidence. No arrests have been announced, and police are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information.
Wallethub just recently named Columbia as the safest city in Maryland. While police haven't released anything ont he suspects or potential motive, they believe this is a targeted shooting.
"While no place in the country is immune to violence, even the safest places, we don't believe there's a public safety threat to the general public at this time," said Lori Boone, public information officer for the Howard County Police Department.
While LaLuz is grateful there's a reward for information, she just wants whoever killed her son to go to police themselves.
"Turn yourself in, that will be your best bet," she said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 410-313-STOP or HCPDCrimeTips@howardcountymd.gov.
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