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Howard Co. aims to upgrade mental health services

COLUMBIA — Howard County officials are taking steps to improve mental health services following a shooting at the Mall in Columbia in January.

County Executive Ken Ulman signed an executive order Wednesday creating a task force to address gaps in the system.

The panel will make recommendations for expanding services, reducing stigma and reaching out to children, parents and others.

Three people died in the shooting, including the gunman, 19-year-old Darion Marcus Aguilar, who shot himself.

Investigators found that Aguilar had looked up websites for people with mental health problems, and he told a doctor he was hearing voices in the months before the shooting.

Police say there is no evidence that he was seen by a mental health professional.

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