February 21, 2024

Mall of America in Minnesota shooting: 19-year-old dead after an altercation

CNN  —  Five people were arrested Saturday in connection with the fatal shooting of a…

Mall of America in Minnesota shooting: 19-year-old dead after an altercation



CNN
 — 

Five people were arrested Saturday in connection with the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old the previous night at Minnesota’s Mall of America, the largest shopping center in the US, police said.

The suspects – three 17-year-old males and two 18-year-old males – were arrested after police executed a search warrant on Saturday, Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges told reporters.

Investigators believe the shooter is one of the adults who was arrested, Hodges said. They’re trying to determine if another shooter was involved. The suspects were expected to be charged with second-degree murder, according to Hodges.

“We don’t know why this happened,” Hodges said. “And we don’t know the why, because people flat out are just not cooperating and people don’t want to talk.”

Hodges had earlier said officers heard gunshots on the first floor of Nordstrom just before 8 p.m. local time on Friday and found a man shot multiple times in the store. ,

On Saturday, Hodges said an officer working at the Watches of Switzerland store saw people come out of Nordstrom, ran into the store, and found the victim.

Lifesaving measures were performed on the victim but were unsuccessful. A bystander who was grazed by a bullet is expected to survive, Hodges said.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said his office was working with local officials to provide support and resources, tweeting “the violence at MOA last night is absolutely unacceptable.”

The 30-year-old mall, about 10 miles south of downtown Minneapolis, is a popular tourist destination in the Midwest, with tens of millions of visitors each year. The giant shopping complex boasts more than 500 stores, more than 50 dining options, dozens of attractions and two hotels, according to its owners.

Friday’s shooting comes about five months after suspects fired gunshots into a crowded store at the mall. No injuries were reported in the August incident.

Hodges said the fatal shooting was the first firearms-related homicide at the mall. There was a domestic-related fatal stabbing at the mall in 1999, he said.

A preliminary investigation into Friday’s incident indicated there was an altercation between about five to nine people inside Nordstrom. Store surveillance video showed a male pulling out a gun and shooting the victim, Hodges said.

“We have an incident where if someone decides that they want to pull out a gun and shoot somebody with complete lack of disrespect for human life, I still don’t know what we can do to stop that,” Hodges said.

A motive for the shooting has not yet been determined.

Jovonta Patton, a Billboard gospel singer, was filming an Instagram reel at a Gucci location inside Nordstrom when gunshots went off in the background.

Patton quickly ran to the back room of the store to hide for about 15 minutes, where about six or seven others had also taken cover, he told CNN.

Several New York Giants players were also inside the mall at the time of the shooting, according to NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero.

The team was staying at a hotel nearby ahead of a game against the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis on Saturday. Giants spokesperson Pat Hanlon told The Associated Press on Friday the players who were at the mall during the shooting had made it back to the hotel, and everyone had been accounted for.

CNN has reached out to the New York Giants for comment.

Team announcer, Bob Papa, was also inside the mall during the incident.

“Scary here @mallofamerica,” he tweeted Friday. “Shooting in mall. On lockdown at #TwinCitiesGrill. Two gunmen at least one victim.” An hour later, Papa said, “Safely out of mall and back at hotel. Prayers to victim.”