Crime /

Mall of America Reopened After Nike Store Shooting

The suspect has not been apprehended by law enforcement

Police are searching for an individual who fired a gun inside a crowded store in the Mall of America.

The mall went into a temporary lockdown on Aug. 4 following the incident which occurred around 4:15 P.M. 

According to Bloomington police, two groups of people got into an altercation at a Nike store. An individual pulled out a gun and fired three rounds into the store while leaving with one of the groups.

“Fortunately, at this time it doesn’t appear that anyone was injured,” Bloomington Police Chief Booker T. Hodges said during a press conference. He said the suspect “decided to demonstrate a complete lack of respect for human life.”

“We train for this, we do this… but if an individual decides they have no regard for human life, I don’t know any defense for that,” the police chief said.

The incident is the second shooting to take place at the mall in the last year. On New Year’s Eve, a person opened fire on the third floor and injured two men.

Hodges said that a police officer was on the scene within 30 seconds. He also told the press that the search for those involved and an investigation into the shooting are ongoing.

Video taken inside the building and posted to social media show shoppers fleeing from the vicinity as a pair of officers, one armed with a rifle, move through the building.

In other videos, the warning “please shelter immediately” can be heard playing over the mall’s sound system.

An arrest has not been made in connection to the incident. Police searched the Best Western on the south side of the mall for several hours after being informed the suspects may have gone to the hotel.

The mall reopened on Aug. 5. Mall spokesman Dan Jasper said the shopping center will have additional security and law enforcement, per SF Gate.

Guns are not permitted inside the Mall of America but shoppers are not searched or asked to go through metal detectors upon entry.

“We continue to look at all security options and try to figure out what makes the most sense,” said Jasper told the media after the shooting, per Fox 9. “Honestly, this is an open building in an open society. Metal detectors aren’t common in retailers or food retailers or in most places that we go.”

Jasper noted that the mall employs “a lot of other security apparatus” such as “highly trained officers,” “security cameras”  and “other technology that the guest never sees” to keep shoppers safe.

The popular tourist destination opened in 1992. Approximately 40 million visit the location each year. The mall generated an estimated $2 billion annual economic impact.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called the violence at the Mall of America “unacceptable.”

“These brazen incidents will not be tolerated. State resources are on the scene, we have offered our full support, and we will maintain close communication with Bloomington police to apprehend those responsible,” Walz said in a statement. “We are committed to maintaining an unprecedented state law enforcement presence in the Twin Cities until we put a stop to this rise in crime.”

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