Search underway for Mall of America gunman

Midwest

BLOOMINGTON, Minn.  (NewsNation) — Minnesota police Friday are searching for a suspect after at least one gunman fired shots at the Mall of America, sending shoppers running for cover.

Police said no one was injured and the alleged gunman fled the suburban Minneapolis mall Thursday night.

Video posted to social media showed what appeared to be a man shouting as he walked near the complex’s Nike store, with at least three apparent gunshots.

Other video posted online showed shoppers fleeing from the amusement park at the interior on the giant mall’s ground level, holding their children’s hands and clutching their bags.

Trent Turner, a salesman at a DSW shoe store one level below the Nike store, said he was near the back when he heard gunshots. “Then I saw everyone stampeding toward the back,” he said.

Still other video showed a pair of police officers, including one with a rifle, moving through the mall, and people walking quickly away from the mall’s large interior atrium area.

Bloomington Police Chief Booker T. Hodges, during a news conference Thursday night at the mall, said two groups got into an altercation at a store. One group left, but someone in that group decided to fire three rounds into a store with people around.

“Fortunately, at this time it doesn’t appear that anyone was injured,” Hodges said.

Police are looking for two people but only one likely had a weapon, Hodges said. He said a Bloomington police officer was on the scene within 30 seconds.

Hodges said if someone decides they have no regard for human life, “I don’t know what we can do about that.”

Mall spokesman Dan Jasper said the mall will reopen Friday with more security and police on site.

“Guns are not allowed on Mall of America property,” Jasper said.

The mall, which opened in 1992, is the largest in the U.S. and is a tourist destination and community gathering spot.

The Mall of America bans guns on its premises, according to its website. The mall does not have metal detectors and shoppers are not searched upon entry. It was the scene of a shooting on New Year’s Eve, when two people were wounded during an apparent altercation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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