A verbal altercation between two groups of young men inside the Mall of America on Friday night quickly turned into gunfire, turning the expansive shopping and entertainment complex in Bloomington, Minnesota, into a chaotic crime scene where a 19-year-old lay dead, according to the authorities. This occurred on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
The nation’s largest mall, which was in a vulnerable position following the shooting, had been investigating new safety measures, such as the installation of metal detectors, at a time when anxiety about gun violence was on the rise.
The enormous mall, which draws millions of tourists each year with its countless shops and attractions including the indoor theme park Nickelodeon Universe and the Sea Life Aquarium, has no past fatal shootings, according to Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges.
Chief Hodges added, “We had 16 police officers in the mall, and they still chose to do this. “I’m lost,” you said.
Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges will be giving an in person News Release at the Mall of America about this evenings shooting at 10:30pm. Members of the media are asked to arrive at the level one east main doors. You will be directed to the staging area.
— Bloomington Police (@BPD_MN) December 24, 2022
When the two groups—between five and nine people—got into a verbal altercation, it quickly turned deadly as gunfire rang out, sending terrified customers running, said Chief Hodges. The incident happened inside a Nordstrom store just before 8 p.m.
He said, “One bullet missed a bystander’s jacket.”
Chief Hodges stated that the victim was not immediately identified on Friday night and that the investigators were still looking for the suspects.
This is completely absurd, he said. “I mean, I really have no other words to use. This is blatantly foolish.
The night before Christmas Eve, people doing last minute holiday shopping at the Mall are on lockdown because of a shooting at the Mall. This insanity has to stop. Bloomington police confirm shooting at Mall of America https://t.co/VfqdSHazJW
— Bonnie Westlin (@WestlinMNSenate) December 24, 2022
Moreover, he expressed sympathy for the victim’s relatives. Chief Hodges said, “I mean, this is before Christmas, and now they’re having to bury one of their loved ones.”
Guns are not allowed inside the Mall of America, which was placed on lockdown following the shooting before closing for the evening.
When asked how could stop a further violent incident from occurring inside one of the most visited locations in the state on Friday, Chief Hodges sounded frustrated.
He noted that he and his family had gone mall shopping earlier in the day. “If someone is going to have plain disregard for mankind, I don’t know what we can do to stop some of these people,” he added.
A leviathan among enclosed retail malls, the Mall of America, is located about 10 miles south of downtown Minneapolis. With 330 outlets and more than 10,000 employees, it began operations in 1992. More than 40 million visitors from all over the world come to the mall annually, according to the mall.
Along with about 500 shop establishments, the mall has 19 full-service eateries.
Authorities claim that there was another shooting inside the mall in August, which similarly caused mayhem as people fled and hid, according to a local TV station, KARE 11. There were no injuries at that time.
Chief Hodges was shocked on Friday at the idea that someone may think they could “get away” with shooting someone to death.
Make no mistake, he said, “You’re going to be arrested, and we’re going to put you in jail.” “That’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of when.”