WBAL Sorry for False Report During Mall Shooting on Radio, But Not TV

By Kevin Eck 

wbal_mall shootigWBAL is both a Baltimore radio and NBC TV affiliate.

During the Columbia Mall shooting in January, WBAL radio reported the shooter went after his fiance and her new boyfriend in what was described as a “domestic incident.” Trouble is, police say they have no evidence that’s why the the shooting happened.

The Baltimore Sun reports most of the bad info came from WBAL radio’s John Patti whose reports were also carried on WBAL TV.


WBAL radio and TV news director Michelle Butt issued an apology for the false radio reports but told The Sun the TV reports didn’t need an apology since Patti attributed them to sources.

Here’s the radio apology. It came at the end of a report the station titled, “Investigation Results Of Columbia Mall Shooting Released.”

“As the news unfolded the day of the shooting, WBAL reported that the victims, Brianna Benlolo and Tyler Johnson were involved in personal relationship, and that this relationship was the reason Darion Aguilar may have carried out these crimes. This information was based on sources connected to the case but has proven to be false. We regret the mistake and any additional hardship this may have brought to the Benlolo and Johnson families.”

– Michelle Butt
News Director, WBAL-AM

“We said we would address it when the time came, and we have,” Butt told The Sun “adding that station management was done talking about it. ‘We said we would address it and move on, and we are moving on.'”