A 19-year-old man was fatally shot at Minnesota’s Mall of America, the nation’s largest shopping mall, the previous night. Five people have been arrested in connection with the shooting, according to Minnesota police.
On Saturday, Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges announced that three 17-year-old males and two 18-year-old males had been arrested after police executed a search warrant.
Hodges said investigators believe the shooter was one of those arrested. They are attempting to determine whether another shooter was involved. According to Hodges, the suspects were expected to be charged with second-degree murder.
“We don’t know why this happened,” said Hodges. “And we don’t know the why, because people flat out are just not cooperating and people don’t want to talk.”
In an earlier statement, Hodges had reported that officers heard gunshots on the first floor of Nordstrom shortly before 8 p.m. on Friday and found a man who had been shot multiple times in the store.
Hodges said that an officer working at Watches of Switzerland saw people emerge from Nordstrom, ran into the store, and found the victim.
Lifesaving measures were attempted on the victim, but they were unsuccessful. According to Hodges, a bystander who was grazed by a bullet should survive.
Gov. Tim Walz said his office is working with local officials to provide support and resources, tweeting, “the violence at MOA last night is absolutely unacceptable.”
This 30-year-old mall is a popular tourist destination in the Midwest, with tens of millions of visitors annually. More than 500 stores, 50 restaurants, dozens of attractions, and two hotels are among the amenities of the giant shopping complex.
Approximately five months ago, gunshots were fired into a crowded mall store. There were no injuries reported in the incident in August.
Hodges said this was the mall’s first firearm-related homicide. According to him, there was a fatal stabbing at the mall in 1999 that was related to domestic violence.
According to a preliminary investigation, about five to nine people were involved in an altercation inside Nordstrom on Friday. Hodges says surveillance video showed a male pulling out a gun and shooting the victim.
“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 stated.
It is not yet known what motivated the shooting.