By: Megan Charls
A teenager was killed during a shooting at the Mall of America on Friday that sent frightened customers at the nation’s largest shopping center racing into a lockdown just before the holiday weekend, police said.by Megan Charls
Police: 19-year-old killed in shooting at Mall of America
Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges said the victim was a 19-year-old man. A bystander’s jacket was also grazed by a bullet during the shooting at the mall’s Nordstrom location.
There appeared to be some type of altercation between two groups and at one point, someone pulled out a gun and shot the victim multiple times, the chief said. The entire incident lasted about 30 seconds.
The shooting place
The shooting took place on the first floor inside the Nordstrom store at MOA. The victim is believed to be from the metro, but his identity has not yet been released. Police are searching for a group of 5-9 men who fled the scene. The lockdown lasted for about an hour before the mall tweeted that shoppers were being sent outside. The mall is expected to reopen Saturday but the Nordstrom store will remain closed, Hodges said.
The Mall of America
Since it opened in 1992, the mall has been a tourist destination and community gathering spot. It bans guns on the premises but shoppers have generally not been required to pass through metal detectors. The mall said in October it was testing a “weapons detection system” at one of its entrances.
Hodges said the mall is continuously evaluating its security measures, including the possibility of adding metal detectors. Still, the chief added, “if we have an incident where someone decides they want to pull out a gun and shoot somebody with a complete lack of respect for human life, then I still don’t know what we can do to stop that.”
Police did not identify the man who was killed but Hodges said he and Bloomington Mayor Tim Busse spoke to the victim’s relatives on Friday night.