Crime, Law and Justice

Two people injured in shooting that prompted lockdown at Mall of America

Law enforcement officials at a crime scene
A Bloomington police officer directs Hennepin County crime lab staff to the scene of a shooting as they arrive at the Mall of America about 7 p.m. on Friday.
Tim Nelson | MPR News

Updated: Jan. 1, 9 a.m.

Bloomington police say two males were injured, but are expected to survive, after a shooting at the Mall of America on Friday evening. Authorities also said that they were not searching for a suspect.

Bloomington police Deputy Chief Kim Clauson said that the shooting happened after an altercation inside the mall around 5 p.m. between two males. Police patrolling the mall heard one gunshot and found an adult male shot in the leg and another person with a graze wound.

The victim with the leg wound was transported to HCMC, and the other with the minor injury appears to be a bystander and was released later in the evening, police say. Ages of the victims were not available.

No arrests have been reported. The shooting forced a lockdown of about an hour.

Watch Bloomington police’s media briefing on the incident:

Victoria Blackburn said she was pushing her son in a stroller just below the incident and heard the gun go off on the walkway above her.

"For me, I knew exactly what it was, and my first thought — I had my baby with me — was getting my baby and my sister out the way and into safety. I didn't know if there were more shots going to be fired," she told MPR News.

Blackburn said security staff directed them into the mall's underground loading dock, where she said they waited for nearly an hour for an all-clear before they were sent home.

Diners left dozens of meals
Diners left dozens of meals sitting uneaten in the third floor food court inside the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., near where police had strung crime scene tape across the third floor hallway on Friday.
Tim Nelson | MPR News

Tanya Beck of St. Paul told MPR News that she'd just walked into Macy's with her 12-year-old when they heard a lockdown alert. She said store staff initially told her it was only a drill, but minutes later an announcement told them to seek shelter.

"And then a few families, including my child and me, went into the dressing room and kind of hunkered down back there with some kids who were a little bit freaked out," Beck said. "We didn't hear anything from there, and someone's other parent came in and let us know it was over. (It was) probably less than 10 minutes that we were back there."

Authorities said around 6 p.m. that the lockdown had been lifted and that there was no longer a threat. All customers at the mall were asked to leave the building and the mall was closing for the day, authorities added. Officials said a special event scheduled at the mall on Friday night was canceled.

Mall spokesperson Dan Jasper said the mall's regular drills helped stores respond. While some shoppers left right away, others were still in the mall when the lockdown was called.

"Tenants locked down, got [customers] in a secure location in the back of their space and protected them. And they waited until the all clear was given, which it was," Jasper said.

Video from within the mall is being reviewed, Clauson said.

The mall was set to reopen at 10 a.m. Saturday.

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